I am thoroughly amazed at the amount of time my children can spend staring at a phone’s tiny screen.
Sure, I remind them that I didn’t have the gadgets they have when I was growing up. We played kickball in the street at night. We wandered to the park to catch a little league baseball game and to meet our friends. We hung out in the dark until the air became so infested with mosquitos that we just couldn’t take it one more minute. When the nights were over, we waited until the next day to talk to our friends. Dare I venture to say that we were socially disconnected? Of course we weren’t. There is importance in eating dinner with your family without phone interruptions, doing your homework without the constant interruption of vibrations and beeps from electronic devices, and having some alone time to listen to your favorite music.
I remember wanting to spend every waking moment with my friends. Today that is possible thanks to texting, Skype , Twitter, and FaceTime. In some respects, I feel fortunate that I didn’t have these things. It must be difficult for kids to find separation. First off, they probably don’t want to. Secondly, they simply never need to. Separation- (a.k.a. alone time) is a good thing. It’s a way of discovering who your really are, and what makes you the way you are. In this way, we learn to live with ourselves and more importantly, like ourselves. Vital lessons to learn while growing up.
All that being said, there is one program in their excessively socially connected world that has helped me learn about my children. It’s Instagram. My kids photos are fun to look at. It gives me insight into what they are thinking, and what they find important, funny, interesting, or beauty-full. Instead of asking “how was your day?” or ” what did you do today?”- a lead in to conversation can be, ” That is a really cool picture of — you took.” I get much more informative responses. Try following your children’s Instagram accounts if they have them. It can help, and it’s fun. Here are a few gems from my girls’ libraries: