My teenage daughter’s iPhone has become an extension of her hand, always attached and ready to go. I don’t even know what color my child’s eyes are anymore – they are always looking down at that little glowing screen. Ok, yeah I get it, part of it is that she’s not interested in me anymore. But the gadget is just so addictive and enticing – I’m starting to understand what all the technology addiction talk is about.
Have I created a monster? We used to have restrictions on her phone use. It would go in the kitchen drawer at dinner, not to return until she was done with her homework, and then confiscated again at bedtime. But last year we sort of let that lapse. She’s in high school now, she needs to be more independent and she should be able to manage her technology herself, right? I’m not so sure that was a good idea. I walk in her room at night and she is Facetiming friends while she is doing homework. Just yesterday morning I went in to make sure she was up and getting ready for school and she was in bed with the phone next to her pillow. She claims she needs it for the alarm. She even takes the phone in the bathroom with her and plays music while she is showering. I thought I heard her texting while she was on the toilet the other day. Jeez, when does this stop?!? I’m even more worried considering she gets her driver’s license in 2 months. How can I be sure she is not texting and driving? Looks like I need to look into an app for that.
How did this digital overdose happen? How did this sneak up on me? And what do I do now? I think part of the issue is that everyone around her is dependent on technology as well, including me. I carry my phone around the house with me, stick it in the cup holder in my car and check messages at stoplights. I take it on hikes with me just so I don’t miss that call. Hell, I even dropped my phone in the toilet last year after peeing when it slipped out of my back pocket. Note to self: don’t stick your iPhone in your back pocket when you pee.
We need a digital detox. Hit the reset button. I don’t even know how to start here. Last week my phone ran out of battery for the afternoon and I was panicky for the rest of the day. My husband’s phone actually died on Friday night and I’ve never seen anyone run to the AT&T store so fast. By Saturday at noon he had the new updated model and all his data and contacts transferred. Back in business.
I think I’ll start tonight at dinner time. We’re going to try a technology free zone from 6-8 each night for a week. Executive decision here. All phones in a drawer for 2 hours. No notice, just rip that band aid off. Let’s see how this goes – am I nuts?!? We are going to be in a full on war zone. There is going to be a lot of whining and complaining – and not just from the kids. I’m hoping we can put down the phones for just a bit and get back to life – is that too much to ask? And maybe I’ll get to see those pretty blue eyes again too.