the finger

by humanmama on May 1, 2013

Part of the major struggles of living these days is the challenge of  being present. I feel, in my sort-of-young-but-still-old way, that this is a battle that we are losing every day. Fifty years ago it was rock music and cars and radio and peace, love (maybe even dope). But now in this age of technology everyone from the age of 2 to 102 is looking at an iPad, a computer, their mobile phone.

I want to embrace it. Seriously, the youth in me wants to love it. Where were you, iPads, five or six years ago when I was trying to silence my baby in a restaurant or car? It’s fantastic. Imagine all those scenes from Harry Potter (the first one–the movie that came out in 2001–that’s 12 years ago!) where they had a newspaper with talking images and pictures–almost as good as an iPad! The first iPad was released in 2010. That means they’ve been around for only 3 years–and what amazing, amazing things have been done in that time.

But, on the other hand, I feel that old feeling again. That little nudge inside of me that says they’re missing it. Or, really, I’m missing it, because when I have my iPhone on and I’m emailing/ FB posting/ tweeting/ instagramming I am not being present. Who cares if I am being there for the 50 people who might run across my FB post if I am holding my finger up at my kids?

No one cares. And maybe that’s the thing. Maybe we’ve gotten a little too involved in who cares in this culture. I’m not sure where it began–The Real World? American Idol? The Dating Game?! Little by little we’ve begun to build our “life for people”–almost like we were famous. Instagramming photos of your kids make them look even more gorgeous and happy. FB posts usually are either when we’re ecstatic or depressed. (A little bipolar, actually.) Tweets can literally be 140 characters of whatever you have in your brain. And I think we’re getting used to the idea that somehow that is important.

But it isn’t.

(I have a feeling if you could track the time American teenagers and adults spend on the toilet in the last 5 or 6 years since the advent of the iPhone, it would have quadrupled. )

It’s not important. I get so sad when I see a kid trying desperately to talk to mom or dad while they’re holding up the finger and typing or talking or swiping or scrolling. I once heard a kid yell “mommy I have to go potty” so many times that the kid started to cry. He was holding his crotch and crying and the mom was still holding up the finger and on her phone. So I had to say something–I said “the potties are over there!” and she looked up and then realized how serious the situation was.

I’m sure I’ve done that. (Well–maybe not that but I have definitely done my share of finger holding.) So I am going to try to be more present with my kids. More here. More in the now with them than I have been. The kids need me. They need me to be here with them, in their childhood. (Not all the time–mind you, Mama’s got to get a break every once in a while–but mostly.) Because those FB friends? Those Twitter followers? They really don’t care. If I don’t write immediately about my run-in with the road ragey person this morning, they really aren’t losing sleep. If I don’t post photos of my newborn this instant, it’s going to be okay.

But my kids? They need me to be here. Or else pretty soon they’ll start giving me the finger.

Post to Twitter

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Reed May 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

Couldn’t. Agree. More.


Previous post:

Next post: