parenting · SAHM stuff · training up a child

Why I Don’t Want a Smart Phone

Last Friday I scored much sough-after tickets to a Sid the Science Kid event at our local Children’s Museum. These tickets included a meet & greet with Sid, pictures with Sid, and a viewing of a world premiere Sid movie (complete with the voice of Christopher Lloyd as a mad scientist. Priceless!).

Now, I know that my three year old will not sit still for an entire 75 minute viewing of anything, even of his favorite kid scientist. I was smart enough to sit in the very back row; we got to hug Sid and get N’s picture taken before the movie, and we were able to sneak out halfway through.

But during those 40 minutes the movie was playing, here is what I observed:

* Kiddos enthralled with Sid and Gabriella
* The adorable baby girl next to us eating Cheerios
* The two moms in front of me gossiping about people they know
* Dozens of children trying to get their parent’s attention
* Dozens of parents on their smart phones

The theater was lousy with bright small screens. Or, in two cases, giant ipad screens. Parents were…what? Busy? On their screens while hoping that the giant screen in front of the room would occupy their kids?

I was a little bit sickened, to be honest. I have read the emails and blog posts going around about mamas missing their kids’ lives, but this was reality. Children were being ignored while their parents were on their own little screens.

What is so important on your phone that you need to ignore your child?

Later we tried to see the geckos, but there were many parents taking pictures with their ipads. Do you know how stupid you look taking a picture of a lizard with your ipad? And do you understand that you can’t even see your own kid when doing that AND you block the view of anyone standing behind you?

Then it was moms on their phones while riding the carousel. My son LOVES the carousel, and he wants to narrate the entire thing to me. “Look at that, Mama! Look at the lights! Look at the lion! Look at the stars!” I saw child after child unhappy to ride the carousel because their moms were ignoring them.

Now, I’m not going to lie. I send a text or two when we are out and about. I snap a few photos here and there with my ancient slide phone. But when I am with my child, especially out and about at something fun or special, I want to actually be there. Because I don’t know if he will be my only, I want to soak up every single second that I can with him.

And parenting is hard, and sometimes it is very lonely, but what are we missing?

My child barely fits on my lap anymore…and how many times did I wish away laptime because I wanted him to just go to sleep?

My child doesn’t need me to feed him anymore…and how many times did I wish away feedings because they were in the middle of the night, or I didn’t want to deal with the mess of flung green beans?

My child won’t always want me to ride the carousel with him…or take him to the children’s museum or the zoo…or play ball with him in the yard. How soon before he stops asking because I am perceived by him as too busy?

I don’t want a smart phone. I am afraid it would distract me from what is really important: raising my son and actually being with him.

4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want a Smart Phone

  1. I know I'm not a parent yet (hopefully one day) but i must say I agree with this post 100% Sometimes I just watch and think to myself that id give almost anything to have what some take for granted.


  2. I know exactly what you mean and feel the same way. I don't have a smart phone but an android where I can have gmail/fb on my phone. Back in December social networks were driving me insane. I found myself constantly checking my phone every time I got a “notification” until one day I realized “this is RIDICULOUS!!”. So I completely took the facebook app off my phone and I don't think I will ever put it back on!! WHY do we feel we have to be able to get fb on our phones wherever we are??? It is seriously not that important!!

    I did leave gmail because that is just convienient. 🙂 However, I changed the settings so my phone doesn't ding every single time I get an email – I HATED that!! Drove me crazy. I do not need to know the instant an email comes in!

    I am very contientious of not being on technology when with my children. I can remember telling myself when LB was first born that I would not get on my laptop when LB was awake – I would wait until naptime or bedtime. I have stuck to that and it is probably one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made. It irks me to see moms on their phones with their children sitting right there. Just Friday night we were at dinner and the table next to us – mom, dad, two kids – the mom had her phone out the ENTIRE time before the food came. SO sad.

    Not that I NEVER get on my phone with my kids persent – because I do – but I refuse to allow it to become an idol in my life. My children are too precious and to valuable to spend time staring at a screen instead of investing in THEM!

    LOVED this post!


  3. I feel the same way. I too do not have a smart phone and would find the entire thing to be an idol in my life if I did. You are right, parenting is lonely. And sometimes boring. But does that give us a right as parents to check out because we grew up and aren't interested in the petting zoos anymore? Whatever happened to moms being involved with their kids on outings. What is the point of paying to go to a show if you aren't going to watch it? Catch it at home for free.


  4. I'm with you. I'm on the computer playing around enough at home. I don't need to take it on the road. I have such an addictive personality, I just know I wouldn't be able to put it down. People thing I'm weird because I don't have a smart phone or text. But they can call or write, and that's enough. If you care enough, you'll do that. But if I'm out with my kids, I'm Busy!


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