I dedicate an unhealthy amount of time to it, I go to it when I’m bored, we spend hours touching, and sometimes my relationship is so bad with it that it distracts me from my loved ones and the things that happen around me. In fact I think a lot of you out there can say the same. That’s right, I’m talking about my mobile phone. Try as I might; social media hiatus, keeping it out of reach, reducing time on it before I go to sleep, I still spend my life on it. Quite pathetic really.
It’s bad enough as it is, but when you throw a child in the mix it becomes more serious for a few reasons. Firstly, if I’m spending unnecessary time on my phone, I’m not spending time fully focused on my daughter. Instead, I’m seeing what a bloke called Dave got up to on Saturday night in Yates’ as opposed to watching Ivy pick something up for the first time, or looking to me for attention for a response at an age where she desperately needs for her development. I get pissed off if I look up at dinner and all I can see is the top of someones head, eyes glaring down at their phone instead of joining in the conversation (and yes, at times that person is me), so the standards shouldn’t be different between my daughter and I.
Secondly, is the fact that try as we might to fight it, we live in a generation where the use of phones and iPads at school and at home is the norm, so although we want to tell ourselves we’ll keep our kids away from them, in a sense we’d be stopping them from learning and developing the skills they need. However, making it a constant distraction or a tool to keep the baby quiet on a permanent basis is something I don’t want to do. When we’re sat on the sofa together I can already see Ivy reaching for my phone, OK right now that’s because it’s bright and pretty and makes funny noises, but soon Ivy will start to understand what she can do with it, then we’re on a slippery slope to ‘over-techy’ parent.
I’m not one for making new years resolutions but for my own good, sanity and quality of life I’m going to improve. If Ivy’s teaching me anything, it’s that life moves quickly. I come back from one night away and she’s grown again or learnt something new. A baby will make you notice change very easily, but imagine what else we’re missing out on when our heads are buried in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc.
For those still rockin’ a Nokia 3210, with only snake as a distraction, I salute you. It’s probably giving you much better quality of life!