I Can't Hear You I'm Texting

"I'm listening to you."  My husband says while texting his coworker, watching SportCenter and playing chess on the laptop.

"I heard you." I told my kids as I was Gmail chatting with my Mom, downloading new tunes for our IPod and emailing about a play date from my BlackBerry.

"I didn't hear you calling me." My son screams as he is playing LeapFrog in front of the television.

How did this happen?  I was the girl that didn't even have a cell phone until I was 26.  I remember talking on a payphone to my husband, in the days he was my boyfriend.  I didn't have online access during an unemployed stint living in Lakeview.  I spent my afternoons at Screenz on Clark.  Not to mention that my family was the last household in the world to have a microwave (sorry, Mom).

We need to put down the technology and actually look at each other when we talk.  I wish I could say it would be easy to get rid of it all and spend the day together baking cookies and making puppet shows.  That would be a lie.  It would be so hard.  We do bake cookies and perform puppet shows, but that doesn't take up the whole day, it takes up an hour and 39 minutes.

 I struggle to think of times I am without my phone, computer or other device.  The only time I can come up with is yoga.  All phones are off during yoga and honestly I very rarely wonder if my BlackBerry's red light is flashing during class.  But, immediately following savasana, checking my phone is at the top of my to do list. 

This topic gives me anxiety.  I feel my heart speeding up.  I worry about when my kids are old enough to have Facebook accounts.  I worry about my kids not getting enough exercise or playing outside for hours like I did as a child.  I worry that people are going to stop talking to each other.

I haven't discovered a solution.  Have you?

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  • This is how you solve your problem...get up and leave your family. Don't tell them you're leaving, just leave, and never look back. Fake your death or something, it really doesn't matter. Move to Africa or South America and find yourself a real man who works the land and start a new family with many healthy children. You'll grow old happy and satisfied.

  • I think this is a brilliant topic for conversation and reflection. For us in the "older" generation I personally am excited to be alive to have witnessed and participate in a total change in the way we communicate. C'mon....we were in email contact when I was in Antarctica...amazing! However, with every advance...comes adjustment. I would celebrate that there is sometime...yoga...when you have total opportunity to quiet your mind. The rest of the time, we are all multi-tasking. So what?

  • I often "accidentally" leave my phone at home when I go out. It is so liberating when no one knows where you are. But then, the panic ensues! I find many people in my life need to know where I am at every moment of the day or they assume I have died. And, if I don't text or call them immediately, they stalk me until I do respond.

    I almost feel like we have become over-communicators. My son said something funny, I need to text grandma. I ate a cheeseburger for lunch, let's post it on facebook. I think I am going to give up texting for Lent. Thank you for letting me vent... Great post!

  • In reply to erago:

    If a family member or close friend doesn't respond to my call, text or email within an hour, I am convinced they are dead. I never stop to think that they could be enjoying a quiet phoneless moment.

    Did you really give up texting for a Lent?

  • In reply to bethprystowsky:

    I did not give up texting b/c my clients text me a lot instead of calling. Instead of giving something up for Lent, I have committed to doing something positive everyday. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. I have been working hard to make deliberate kindness a habit, so for Lent, I am taking it to the next level! :)

  • do not fear technology. seriously. it is your friend...until they become sentient. then you should start running, but by then it will be too late.

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