Parents Must Choose Between Their Children or Their Phone

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    PHOTO Johan Larsson

    As someone who manages the marketing arm of several companies, I am acutely aware of the power mobile devices have in connecting people with other people and valuable information; however, as an individual, I can’t help but recognize that these same devices, which were designed to bring us closer together, are actually creating barriers in real-life relationships.

    Just a handful of years ago, a couple going on a road trip together would talk about their lives, taking a break from the ordinary busyness of life by disconnecting from the world around them, together.

    Now, many couples can log hundreds of miles and hardly share a few sentences – victims of the static hypnosis that is Facebook Mobile, Twitter and millions of mind-numbing webpages scattered across the Internet.

    As a father, I will be walking my little girl into kindergarten this week and I ask myself, “Where did the past five years go?”

    If I were to answer this question honestly, I would tell you that much of that time was spent exercising my right thumb – doing nothing immoral – but simply scrolling through posts made by people I haven’t seen in ages and reading article after article of content that truly made no lasting impact on my life; other than to rob me of precious hours, no, precious days, with a little girl who couldn’t pronounce the word “fish.”

    She’s grown up quite a bit now, and she can pronounce most every word flawlessly, and I missed it.

    If you’re a mother, you will not wake up one day and say, “I wish I would have spent more time looking at the pictures of people I went to high school with,” but you may very well find yourself saying, “I wish I would have left my phone in the car that day we went to the park and watched the kids play on the slide.”

    If you’re a father, you have a God given responsibility to serve as a role model for your children. Statistics undeniably prove that your presence will dramatically influence your children’s future for good. How can you claim to be present in your children’s lives if you’re like a zombie, studying the content on your phone? Your body is not presence enough; your children need you, all of you – all of your attention.

    If you’re in a relationship, turn your phones, laptops and iPads off for an hour and talk with the person you once couldn’t get enough of. You just might find that playing Phase 10 with your spouse is far more enjoyable than Bejewled and Candy Crush.

    Regardless of who you may be, I urge you, let the events of this past week serve to remind you that life is short. Our children are growing old and watching them, talking with them and loving them is worth far more than counting Facebook likes and sending game requests.

    Wasting time is nothing new. Men and women have been doing so for ages; unfortunately, doing so now is easier than ever. With that in mind, may we all share the Psalmist’s prayer:  “So teach us to number our days…”

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