Every time we go to a school event, I’m struck by parents glued to their phones.
The other day, I watched a parent sitting in front of me flip through their cell phone’s menu screen. Aimlessly. No doubt with a delightful internal monologue:
“Which app do I choose? I haven’t played Clash Royale in ages. Ah, don’t make eye contact! They might want to talk!!”
The introvert side of me gets it. The phone provides a safety blanket against scary “stranger” conversations. As a parent, as a dad, I wonder what the kids see though. Do they see parents:
- Distracted/not present in the moment?
- Displaying the same electronic habits at home?
I know that being in a crowd of people we don’t know can be intimidating. I know that it is easier to escape into a phone, look important, and ignore those around us. But at what cost does our escape come at? What are we modeling for our children when we can’t even put down our phones for a moment?
I’m not trying to sound judgmental nor make others feel guilty. I’ve used my phone to ignore people many times. The thing is, I want my son to know that he is important. That I can be present in the moment. No matter how hard or uncomfortable that might be.