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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chew On This.

Had dinner with some friends tonight and checked my phone and read a couple texts more times than I would like to admit. When did this become socially acceptable?

And friends that I was with please take this as my apology for being rude. Not only was I late (by an hour) but I also checked my phone a couple times. Oy!

Have been thinking about this topic of people and cell phones and social media and when is too much, too much.

Have been trying to not update every time we do something or go somewhere and instead enjoy the moment more.

Spent today at the Children's Museum. Just me. My littles. And the other few dozen folks who were there today.

And noticed so many parents texting and tweeting and updating throughout the day. Walking and talking and pushing strollers and standing in elevators.

One mom sat smack dab next to the door of the Wizard of Oz exhibit and her eyes never left the screen of her Iphone.

I caught myself texting a couple pictures of my kids to some friends and family that I knew would like a glimpse at our day. Justifying my own actions but not leaving room for others actions.

I want to be a present parent who enjoys and lives in the moment with my kids. Sometimes I love to snap a picture and text it off to J, or my dad, or my aunt in Virginia and say hey, look at this! We are having so much fun. And I have decided that I am ok with this.

But sometimes I know I cross the line. When I am saying, Wait, hold on, I want to take a picture. Or, Hold on I'm sending a quick text.

I like to think I've done a good job with this but always know that when I am being honest with myself there is room for improvement.

Over the last four years I've done a good job with establishing computer time boundaries and rules for myself because my job first and foremost is mom so my emails and blog things etc can all wait until naptime or bedtime most days. (With that said, I do check email and balance my checkbook every morning but besides that try to have computer free days unless my kids are napping/having rest time.)

But the cell phone thing. Not just talking. But texting and tweeting and facebooking...that's where there is grey.

This sort of thing and the affects on our children is hitting the news like mad these days.

The New York Times has a story on it here. The Star Tribune Cribsheet blog has a story (linking to a previous story I did on cell phones way back when) here. For one more Minnesota mom's take on this, go read her thoughts here.

What do you think? Is this something you struggle with? What are your boundaries when it comes to computer time and cell phone time and your kids?


Blogger darcie said...

I'd like to think I do pretty good when we are out and about - sure, I snap pics with my cell phone & upload them or text them to Daddy but I rarely check in on the SM sites while we are out and about -
I know all too well what a time suck all of these sites are...and while I love them (twitter, FB, blogging) - life doesn't wait for no one!

June 16, 2010 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I know what you mean...I felt bad about texting last night to Steve during dinner towards the end, but we only see each other for an hour now since he's working 12 hour days. I know it isn't an excuse, but sometimes you just have to. It was okay, all that matters is we had fun last night which I we did. It was great seeing you again!

June 16, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Don't apologize - knowing that you are a parent, I am very forgiving to those types of things because I figured you were checking on how things were going at home.

Now the Twittering and Facebooking from cell phones, I'm not sure how I feel about that. My phone does not have that capability and I am one of those who figures it can wait until I get home if it's that important to go on one of my respective FB or Twitter accounts (and I mean no offense to those who do it). But that's just me.

I'm still pretty new to the whole "texting" concept overall, it took me a long time to jump on the bandwagon. I think there are plenty of situations where it's an extremely helpful tool though!

June 16, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Thanks for the mention! And you said so much more, and so eloquently, things that I struggled to put into words without making a long post longer. Great post!

June 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Holly said...

As you know, I am also new to texting and my phone just got the capabilities to go on facebook and the internet. (I have never gone on Twitter but you know that is more to show how slow I am to pick up on those things than anything else!) I love that I can text my husband and sisters throughout the day and keep them informed on our activities. But I found myself taking pictures today and then sending them to people while the kids waited. I do not think that is ok. I need to go back to only using my phone for calls and the occasional text and not for surfing the web or updating my facebook page. I think everyone needs to set his or her own limits. Some people are ok with constantly being on the phone but I have also been places where the parent has been on the phone the whole time instead of spending time with the children. For me, that is not ok. I would rather be "in the moment" as you said and not worry about updating everyone. I can talk to my husband or send emails at night if it is that important. Having said all that, we all make mistakes and I know it will be hard for me to stick to this! The problem is that technology is going faster than our social norms and etiquette is able to keep up.

June 16, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

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