How the hell should I know and why is everybody looking at me funny?
Yes I see right there, how you might have thought I had some definitive advice re: healthy separation from your laptop/computer/device/super-phone/mega-gadgetry. Sorry, I don’t.
But while I was bouncing around in a jerky taxicab today, an idea fell out of my head, and that was: in this era of well documented cyber-bullying and overall cyber-weirdness, how can we set a good example for our teens if we ourselves have such dysfunctional relationships with our own devices? How can we ask our children to regard their own devices in an arms-length way, if we ourselves cannot do the same?
And then I thought hahahahaha forever Sam-Bee-You-Old-Lady, un-clutch your pearls and get real. Then after that I thought—no actually—(though I am and always will be a pearl clutching old lady at heart), a functional relationship with technology is within my grasp, I just have to choose it. It is actually within my capability to stop clicking on things and choose other things that are things that have real world meaning.
Sometimes when I’m at home, I check my emails so frequently that my phone emailed me to say “your children need attending to.” That’s right, my phone developed artificial intelligence to ask me to give it some personal space.*
All I am saying is that maybe I don’t always have to watch my children through an Instagram lens. Maybe I could one day look at them with the lenses of my actual eyeballs.
Or I could at least try to look at my beautiful children with my actual eyeballs.
These were my starting points. Take them with a grain of salt, or a salt block, or whatever salty thing you have sitting around.
1. For one thing, I stopped checking my emails constantly. Especially important since no one ever actually emails me (due to a long history of me being the worst ever emailer-backer.) Recently, I set my phone to retrieve my emails once every hour, which should suffice both personally and professionally. I find this “difficult”** and “challenging”*** and “horrible”****. Sometimes I stare at my phone like it contains the world’s most delicious candy but it’s sealed in an impenetrable plexi-glass box and I can never have it. It’s possible that I may literally salivate between email pushes. How sad is that. All the more reason to cool it.
2. When I go to dinner parties and people all pick up their phones during a pause in the conversation, I no longer pick mine up too. I just watch everybody else and I try to have an out-of-body experience and instead I think “what would our future alien overlords think? They’d probably be pretty judgey about this.” It looks very dumb. A person can only truly realize this if they are the only one not staring into a tiny screen between courses.
3. Wean myself from certain key social media sites that rhyme with Macebook. Ironic, no? (she says under her breath, immediately posting this to Facebook) Though to be fair, this has been the easiest part of my journey. For one thing, it’s blinding to my old eyes anyway, like an endless flashing lower third on a cable news station and it really only wants to monetize everything everyone does ever. I’m tired of feeling like part of a data sample for Old Navy. I’m tired of their thinly veiled pretense of privacy. Let’s all take a step back from this occasionally because if we do, I swear to The Sweet Baby Jesus no one will miss it. I include this among such pipe dreams as: personally reuniting the Koreas.
One other thing is to stop writing blog posts entitled “How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Your Phone”, which is really just for me. Because I don’t have a “relationship” with my phone. Because my phone is not human, right? Riiiiight?!! Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
What can I say? Babysteps.
*This did not happen, but I may have just invented an award winning app. (Trademarked.)
**I bit all my nails off
***there was physical pain
****sweat dribbled down my face
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