Less {fill in your technological weakness here}, More Life

{lovestopicnic.com : 365 photo series}

My sister shared this article on Facebook: How to Miss a Childhood.

It's worth reading. Go ahead and do it now. In fact, I'm not even going to write anything more about it, because she says it all. Just read it straight from Hands Free Mama.

Okay, so I will add, that I believe it's not just smart phones that are making us miss giving our children and spouses and friends the undivided attention they need. It's TV. Computer games. Internet. Pinterest. Blogging (reading or writing). E-mail. We're becoming a distracted generation, all the while calling it "multitasking" and fooling ourselves into believing that being physically present is enough.

That's the issue--we're the only ones fooled. The people who aren't fooled are the kids hanging on our legs while we "just finish this blog post up real quick," or the spouse sitting on the other end of the sofa feeling dejected while we "just do one more thing before turning off the phone," or the friend wondering why she bothers making an effort when we're obviously distracted with our beloved technology.

I feel strongly about this--about not allowing smart phones (and even plain cell phones) and computers and Internet and Pinterest and Facebook to keep us from having genuine relationships and spending quality time with the people that matter most. My love language is quality time, so maybe it gets even more personal for me when I'm on the outside desiring someone's attention that's instead focused on a phone.

And, yet, I fall into the same trap. I spend too long on a blog post that doesn't matter and may not even get read. I am tempted to browse Pinterest when I'm feeling bored rather than engage in quality time with my family. I answer my phone when we're all gathered at the dinner table. I check Facebook too many times in one day. Incessantly taking pictures instead of truly being in the moment (I've become better at this within the last few months). And I'm quick to condemn others when they struggle with the same thing.


I want this to be more than just a nice article I once read. I want it to change me--to change my behaviors. To actually do all of those things mentioned in "How to Grasp a Childhood." Does that mean giving up on blogging? Not using computer for work? Deleting all apps off my iPhone? Completely unplugging and disconnecting from distant friends and family? Of course not. (Or maybe fasting from it as needed for a little perspective.) I believe there is a balance to be found, and I am willing to make that effort. I still don't know exactly what that looks like for us, but it might include:

Unplugged times each day (no technology before 9:30 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m.--okay, I don't hold to the 9:30 p.m. one) and each week (unplug on Sabbaths unless Skyping with family). Brief breaks even while using technology, to look the kids in the face when they're talking to me. Leaving what I'm doing and go look right away when someone in my family yells, "Mom, come look!" Doing special activities with the kids (they love reading with us). Cuddle times at the end of the day as part of bedtime routine (and other moments that present themselves). Get excited to "see" them again when I close the laptop or put the phone down. Conversations in the car and at the dinner table.

That was more than a few words I added there--so much for "not writing anything more about it." Read the original post: How to Miss a Childhood. She really does say it all.