By Amy L. Hatch
You know you’ve done it.
You’ve checked your smart phone at the park/playground/playdate/children’s museum … etc., etc. I know I have. As a digital worker I am tethered to my iDevice in a way I couldn’t have imagined when my mobile phone was the size of my palm and wasn’t enabled to send or receive text messages.
Apparently, I’m not alone and apparently, I’m a very bad, terrible, no-good parent. Or that’s how a new blog wants me to feel, and I’ll tell you what — I kind of do feel that way after seeing photo after photo of parents ignoring their kids on Parents On Phones.
These moms and dads are engrossed in whatever is going on inside that little hand-held super-computing device (which, by the way, is more powerful than the computer that flew the lunar module, chew on that for a few minutes).
I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I don’t enjoy playing as much as some parents might and that I find it hard to unplug. Here’s a fun fact: I’m writing this on the first day of our family vacation. Go ahead and judge away — I do plenty of self-judging. Especially when my kid says things like, “Mommy, shut your computer now, no working!”
And I’ll be honest — I’ve certainly spent a half-hour at the park thumbing through blogs or email while my kids play. Part of me feels like I earned that 30 minutes, because I already spent countless hours spotting toddlers at the playground so they didn’t split their heads open on the slide.
But then today I found myself frustrated because I couldn’t get a signal on the beach. On the beach. My kids were playing together in the sand and I wanted to … I don’t know. Connect. And so I sat there shaking my iPhone like a Magic Eight ball waiting for those three bars to show up so I could share how much fun I was having by spending 15 minutes posting photos of the beach (that I drove 1,300 miles to get to, no less) on Facebook.
Lucky for me, I couldn’t connect. So I went swimming instead.
‘Fess up, do you spend time on your phone when you’re with your kids?