Social Networking and the Family

I heard something really sad on NPR today.  Kids are complaining that their parents are spending so much time on their smartphones with twitter and Facebook and so on and they feel neglected.  I had always assumed that parents from my generation would put away these stupid habits once we had children.  It’s part of the reason why I’ve been on a video game binge.  I’m hoping to have a kid sometime in the next few years and I am pretty sure that once I have one that I won’t really have any time for Civilization.  And, at least with the way I feel with other people’s kids, I feel like I’d probably want to spend every waking second with them, at least until they were old enough to be entertained with their own games and toys. 

But they said parents have been tweeting and Facebooking during breast feeding.  That’s the most intense bonding period between a mother and child and they can actually sense when they’re not being paid attention to.  Everyone knows that kids (teens) are addicted to their phones, but when we were young we disengaged from the family with books or Gameboys or headphones.  I never thought a kid would have to beg for attention – it just seems horrible.

I don’t have a smart phone, but it’s not on principle – I just think they’re too expensive (both fixed cost and monthly cost) for what I’d get out of them.  So I will have to keep this in mind when I eventually get one.  And, of course, I *have* heard of photography nerds like me getting scolded by their kids for being behind the lens during playtime and, therefore, disengaged.  That’ll be tough!  I want to catch all of my kid’s awesome playtime on camera, but I don’t want to do that at the expense of being unavailable.

 

PS – despite the date, this is not an April Fool’s joke

Author: Eric Mesa

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