Parents and their two children eating at kitchen table

Have you ever looked around and noticed that everyone is so engrossed in technology that they have no idea how much is happening right in front of them?  Kids are playing at the park while parents are staring at their phone, and fans are buying tickets to sporting events and not even watching the game because selfies and social-media posting has taken precedence over what they paid money to see.  What was created to make us more advanced is starting to set us back.

In a world of text messages, tweets, and faceless posts, we are losing out on real social interaction.  We have the ability to reach out to any person anywhere in the world at any time, but we are not even paying attention to the people we love the most: the people in our own home.  I don’t want to learn about my daughter’s day from a notification of her latest post on Facebook; I want to hear it from her mouth and hear emotion.  One day, while pinning crafts to do with my toddlers, it hit me that while I spent an hour being what I thought was extremely productive pinning probably a hundred fun things to do with my daughters, they spent that last hour doing nothing with me.  I was wasting time finding things to do instead of just living life with them.  Family time shouldn’t involve googling.

We have to teach our children to be able to play, have imaginations, and interact with people around them.  The latest epidemic is children watching videos of other children playing with toys instead of actually playing with the toys themselves.  Childhood obesity is out of control, and we are wondering why while we sit and watch our children waste their life staring at a screen.  It’s time to go outside and get moving.  I’m not saying every family has to enter a marathon, but a walk around the block can make a huge difference.  As a matter of fact, a walk will open up even more communication, allowing you to talk with others about what’s around you and teach in a way that the Internet cannot.

As crazy as it sounds, being unavailable will not kill you.  When I get home from work, I turn my ringer off. I’ll check my phone every couple of hours, and if something important came through, I can respond, but I don’t want to hear it the minute it comes in.  Phones at the dinner table?  No way! Not in this house! How can I learn about my family’s day if I’m checking my phone?  I think we could all benefit from a technology time out.  Be there, be present, pin less and live more.

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