My daughter survived five whole days without her phone or social media!! Barely. She woke up that fifth morning quite happy because she knew her phone would be back in her hands before the day was over. She was so happy she made muffins for breakfast and she doesn’t even cook. She was so happy she was humming and singing and dancing.
By the time we got to the news station later in afternoon, she was downright giddy. I have never seen such happiness as when that phone was handed back to her. The phone addict had her fix again. When she turned on the phone she had 163 text messages. Me thinks a few of her friends decided to blow up her phone to welcome her back to their world.
One of the most telling statements Hannah made was “I feel like the week didn’t even happen”. Huh? Really? That sentiment strikes some discord with me as her mother. I don’t want her life to be dependent on that phone. And yet, it is. I realize now how much her social connections are tied together through her tiny little phone. Without her phone she is unable to stay in touch with her friends. I may not like it, but this generation connects through technology. Period. I’m not going to suddenly change that.
As soon as we finished at the news station we headed out of town for the weekend. Yes, pretty much the entire two hour trip was spent reconnecting with her friends. But, I can say this, she is a master multi-tasker. She can carry on multiple conversations via text and also talk to me and change the radio station. The BEST moment of our road trip was when we BOTH left our phones in the car so we could sit down and have dinner together.
My daughter is 17 years old. She is an amazing young woman who works diligently in school, spends time with her family and genuinely enjoys our relationship. She is also well on her way to becoming an adult. I hope this experience will ultimately teach her that technology is simply a tool, it’s NOT her life. I hope she can learn to live life outside the box…her text box, chat box, instagram box, etc. I hope she can look up from that phone and see the person, really see person right in front of her. I hope as she moves from our home she will enjoy her LIFE, see beautiful sights, meet incredible people and enjoy every moment.
I want to say a huge thank you to my friend Brian Housman for inviting Hannah to participate in this challenge. Brian has written a book called Tech Savvy Parenting and I just bought a copy because clearly I have a ton to learn as I navigate these rough technological waters with my four kids. If you have kids, you should check out this book. As parents we must be savvy. This means way more than simply following our child on Facebook because let’s face it….while we are now addicted to Facebook, they are not using it anymore!!