How social media affects our presence as parents?

How social media affects our presence as parents?


I love tech, I’m a graphic designer and I also work as a photographer. However my two greatest teachers, my son and my daughter have taught me much about the importance of presence how there is no life fully lived without it and how tech is not part of that life. Technology has become such huge part of the human experience these past 50 years that we on the daily find ourselves convinced we depend on it to survive. I mean, would you survive a plain ride with your children without an ipad? Do you use the ipad as a babysitter while you get things done? In the book “Social Media: A critical introduction” we can get an insight to what the lifestyle is of a Google employee. The boundary between work and play is incredibly fuzzy. Everything you’d possibly need is inside the Google headquarters except for one thing… a space where work has nothing to do with your experience. There are restaurants, daycares, and hours where you’re allowed to work on whatever projects you’d wanna do. However, all of this is still in the Google headquarters, and during your “free play” hours it’s still assumed that your project has something to do with the work of Google. This example is perhaps the greatest I can find when it comes to how social media has become part of our lifestyles. The boundaries between being available for our technology and for the life that we in front of us, becomes super blurry and scarce. The subject on how social media affect our mental health is a topic that is, often talked about. But I want to lift another question – How does social media affect our parenting and the people around us? Is, social media- and tech-fasting a way to make us better parents? What happens to the people around us? The ones that are not holding our phones? You’re still there physically, but virtually you’re actually hanging out with another person. By picking up our phones to answer notifications we’re saying “Hold it, I need to answer this because this is currently more important than the conversation we’re having. There are plenty of reasons why a child misbehaves, but we have two important factors that is linked with today’s topic and that is rejection by peers, and loneliness, and isolation. Your little people can literally be screaming for your attention because rejection and isolation is just what they feel when your phone pops up every now and then and takes their parent mentally somewhere else. Children are incredibly intelligent people, and they feel the way we prioritize, but can’t really make sense of it they only feel the feelings. Now what fills a child’s emotional cup are only happy things. So when you’re done watching this, put your phone away and be present with your child. As long as long as someone doesn’t die and you’re not losing your job because you didn’t check your notifications for a couple of hours your excuses are just, excuses. Do something they love or choose to do. Give them quality time without the disturbance of notifications. Connect with them instead of your device. Play with them and leave the phone outside the room. Show them friendship. I have no scientific evidence to support my conclusion whether or not the blurry boundaries between social media- and real life-presence affect our parenting badly. But I do however, have my own personal experience and conclusions. I know that children thrive by having present parents and allowing tech and social media to disrupt and cut of conversations, and letting quality time become scattered time is not that. When it comes to social media and parenting we always have two simple options. Establishing contact with the one you love in front of you or establishing contact with the person on your phone.

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