Just checkin' in
If you're like me, at some point you've found yourself lying in bed at 12 am staring at your smartphone.
If you're like me, at some point (or maybe many times this week) you've found yourself lying in bed at 12 am staring at your smartphone. And maybe you've even dropped your phone on your face like I have. (Please tell me you have.) I'll just check in with Facebook, you've thought, only to realize 40 minutes later that you're knee-deep in birthday-party pictures of a tertiary acquaintance. We just can't help ourselves sometimes, I guess. And this, many contend, is a huge problem, for us as individuals and for society as
As Rebecca Jackson points out in her article, "Addicted to Social Media?" this compulsion to be connected at all hours not only affects our kids' sleep, it's affecting their thinking, their moods, and, ultimately, their mental health. Her case study in which a teen found clarity in deciding to "shut off" is a lesson for all of us.
Deep cultural conversation aside, I can tell you for myself that this addiction absolutely affects me. Like a teenager, I sleep with my phone on the nightstand, checking in with texts and tweets whenever I turn over. I'm frazzled. I'm tired. And, even while I curse myself for doing this, I worry about my own kids, just 5 and 2, who have somehow learned how to operate my iPhone by osmosis. I cringe when my 5-year-old asks, "Mommy, I'm in the app store, can you tell me your code?" Whaaa? Gah!
When my wee ones display tech-focused behaviors that alarm me, all I can do is bear their tears while I refuse to accommodate their own flegling addiction. For now, I try to keep their focus on more tactile things, like sand, and dirt, and snow. But, sure, they can watch a LEGO YouTube video now and again.