I'm not announcing this as an attempt to get desperate, ego-stroking responses.
"We'll miss you too much!"
"Please don't go!"
"Whyyyyy are you doing this to me?" (What? Too much?)
You've seen those status updates and know what I'm talking about. I mean, don't get me wrong, I hope at least a few of you will miss me.
Okay, okay. Go ahead and tell me how much if it will make you feel better.
But, in all seriousness...let's be honest here.
I DO, however, feel I at least owe you an explanation in the event that it occurs to you 6 months from now that I haven't posted in a while. So, here it is...
When school starts back in the "fall" (we start in mid-August), my daughter will be in the 8th grade. She is 13. She got her first cell phone about a year ago when she started junior high so she could get in touch with me regarding after school meetings, volleyball practice, etc. It was a simple phone - one she could text and call with - no bells and whistles. Well, that thing is hanging on by a thread. Sometimes it rings. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes texts go through. Sometimes they don't. Real useful is what I'm saying.
As I was looking at my account online the other day, I noticed that she is eligible for an upgrade. I remember saying to my husband (in the not-so-distant past), "It's just silly for her to have such a thing. She does NOT need an iPhone." Well, I apparently like how my words taste, because I eat them frequently (too bad those aren't the only things I eat! Badum bum.) Anyway. I still don't believe she needs an iPhone, but I feel better knowing that she has a way to get in touch with me when I'm not with her and I think it might solve some of the problems we currently have…like her ability to actually use the thing. Plus with my upgrade I can get one for a buck. ONE DOLLAH, people.
My biggest problem with the whole smart phone thing is that I don't want her spending all of her time on it. But as I have considered this new purchase over the past couple of days, it has occurred to me that such an expectation of her turns me into something. Something awful. Something most of us detest. That's right. It turns me into a hypocrite.
I am distracted.
All of the time.
By my phone.
And by "phone" I mean Facebook.
I look at it when I'm in the grocery store. I look at it during commercials. I look at it before I go to bed at night. I look at it when I get up in the morning. I look at it when I'm folding laundry, when I'm cleaning house, and when I'm cooking dinner. It's a tic. It's an addiction. It's a problem.
To be fair, it's not the fault of Facebook. It's a fault of mine.
This realization has made me think back to what my days were like before I joined Facebook. Not that I never wasted any time…I mean come onnnnnn, there was still laundry to be avoided way back in the olden days. But I was immeasurably more productive than I am now and, more importantly, I wasn't constantly distracted.
This isn't the first time I've said that I'm terrified of what the future of technology holds for my children. I certainly don't like what it's done to me and I believe we've only scratched the surface. The simple truth is that I have become a horrible example to my children and I HAVE. TO. FIX. IT.
I think I've still got time to turn this thing around. I think there's still an opportunity to show my kids that it IS possible to live without my/their/our faces in my/their/our phones (or computers or iPads). That they can take pictures for their own benefit. That they can, in fact, communicate with people IN REAL LIFE. That a television can suffice as the ONLY means of technology for the span of 30 minutes - or even longer!
They deserve it, and I deserve it.
As a parent, I am constantly being told of how these days slip through our fingers. How one day they are newborns and the next they are leaving the nest. When I think about the fact that my daughter will head to college in just 5 short years (someone make me a drink, please), I realize what a truth that is.
And I don't want to spend that time with my eyes pointed down.
**I plan to keep writing! Since I won't be using Facebook as a means to advertise new blog posts, please click HERE to get email notifications. NO SPAM! I PROMISE!**