Have you seen this video that everyone is posting on FaceBook? First of all I’d like to point out the irony that the video is being shared via the very Social Media monster that it is tssking and the more “likes” (not love) it gets the better for the site. That point aside, I’d like to address the issue at hand.
The purpose of the video is to call us all out for using our phones and ipads instead of having real interactions with real people. The thing is, we can make real connections and have real interactions online and many of us are able to stay in touch with the people we love through those”evil” mobile devices. Within 20 seconds of watching the video I had a bad taste in my mouth – here are five reasons I’m calling BS on the whole thing.
1. Distance. We no longer live in a world where our entire extended family lives on the same street and our best friend of 20 years comes over for iced tea every afternoon. I can tell you first hand how hard it is to live in a new city without any of the comforts (or friends) of home. We all have jobs and families and busy lives so if “liking” my friend’s pregnancy update or texting my mom when my toddler says something funny makes me a bad person then so be it. In fact, if it weren’t for FaceTime, my toddler wouldn’t really know her grandma. My mom lives in Arkansas and we live in Oregon so we’re lucky if we get to see each other twice a year and those FaceTime chats are beautiful interactions that help them build a lasting bond.
2. Connection. The one secret no one tells you about motherhood is that it can be really lonely, especially when you are a stay-at-home-mom. Being able to interact with my mom-friends from all over the country anytime I want is not only enjoyable but it has proven insanely useful. I often wonder how the hell my mom did it BEFORE technology. For example, when Adelaide got hives recently I snapped a picture, posted it in my parent group on FB and within minutes there were several responses from parents who had dealt with the same thing. I still took her to the doctor but I saved myself hours of desperate and scary google searching by hearing that is was no big deal first hand from other moms.
3. Intellectual Stimulation. The other thing no one likes to admit about parenting is sometimes it is really really boring. I’m all for playing with my kids and I do my absolute best not to use my phone when they need me. But when they are crawling around under the kitchen table making each other laugh and eating old cheerios, I really don’t think there is anything wrong with me checking HuffPost to see what’s going on outside of changing diapers and singing ABC’s. To be honest, it’s what keeps me sane.
4. Pay the Bills. Some of us NEED the Internet to make a living. I technically only work part-time except I’m the Executive Director of a non-profit so really I work full time and just get paid for half time (thanks budget cutbacks). I have to be available all week and that includes the days that I am home with my two little angels. As much as I’d love to just make play-doh cubes and build towers all day, I do have to stay on top of my email and answer the phone if it rings.
5. Safety. I agree that scrolling through your newsfeed while having a romantic meal with your husband is a douche bag move. Yet, I insist on having my phone on the table when my husband and I have a date night because I want the babysitter to be able to reach me. If it gives me peace of mind so I can enjoy a meal with my man then so be it. I appreciate that the hipster Brit in the video is making a statement by leaving his phone on the table on his way out the door but I never want to leave home without my phone and neither does my husband. We are parents and we have people counting on us; if there is a device that can assist in the event of an emergency then you better believe it’s going to be on me at all times.
6. Memories. If it weren’t for my phone I probably wouldn’t have any pictures of my kids except formal family portraits and the occasional scheduled event that I remember to bring my DSLR to. Having a camera that fits in my pocket is truly invaluable and I think my kids will thank me when they are older and have a plethora of pictures and videos from their childhood.
Sorry, I guess I’m not speechless. What was your take on the video?