Do you miss the good old days?
Right before BlogHer ’10 last August, I finally exchanged my oldtimer flip phone for one with a camera and Internet access. I wanted to be able to tweet from BlogHer, and I figure it could also help me manage the stream of e-mails I receive during the day instead of late at night after my son is in bed.
Up to that point, I had been too frugal to buy a Smartphone, and I feared that my love to tweet would get out of hand if I could do it at a moment’s notice. More importantly, I didn’t want to turn into one of those mothers — one who doesn’t pay attention to her child because she is distracted by her BlackBerry.
I’m a pretty hip mama, but on the flip side I yearn for the simple “Little House on the Prairie”-kind of life.
I would love to live in a log cabin my husband built me. How romantic. (I actually have a carpenter husband who could build me one. I know, how romantic!) I would be happy to read all day. (And no, my love for “Little House on the Prairie” did not prompt us to give our son his name; that was my husband’s idea.)
Honestly, I really wish those new phones with all their annoying bells and whistles would disappear from whence they came. I cannot stomach the “beep” of those walkie-talkie phones and the owner’s insistence that everyone around him has to listen to both sides of the conversation.
Too many people are loudly talking on their phones and rudely taking calls while in the company of others. But to me the worst offense happens when parents favor ogling and prodding their BlackBerry or iPhone over paying attention to their children.
I want to say something when I see a mother so distracted that she doesn’t notice her daughter literally clawing on her and yelling “Mommy!” for the tenth time.
I feel terrible for those kids. How must that make them feel, being ignored like that? What are those mothers teaching their children about what is important in life and about paying attention?
I don’t want to be one of those absentminded moms, but would I be? I had the opportunity to find out when my husband, who hardly ever buys anything for himself, came home with a new toy — a sleek BlackBerry Curve. He destroys his phones in regular six-months intervals, and the nice salesman had talked him into getting the BlackBerry. My dear husband who rarely checks his e-mails or gets on the computer.
When Don (Donald > Landon, get it?) forgot to take his Blackberry to work, I swiped it to get familiar with it during a train ride to NYC. An hour and a stiff neck later, I had figured out BrickBreaker but had not been able to access my Facebook or Yahoo account.
I couldn’t find an application for Twitter, so I also couldn’t tweet. Darn. Not being used to texting — something I don’t intend to get the hang of — it took me forever to type something into the BlackBerry to access Internet sites.
I gave up and was happy that I didn’t even like having a BlackBerry. I love to tweet, but my mind is already so occupied with creating 140-character snippets and future blog posts, I don’t need another distraction. My son deserves my full attention and I aim to give it to him as much as possible — I don’t want to waste one minute playing mindless BrickBreaker or whatever Angry Birds is.
Since I got my own Smartphone, I do appreciate being able to take a quick picture and tweet it. And I sometimes check my e-mails when I have to wait somewhere. But if you know me, you e-mail or tweet to reach me. I often go days without checking my voicemail. I refuse to reply to text messages and don’t check them, just FYI. That’s one thing I agree on with my husband — if you have time to text me, just pick up the phone.
I try to only e-mail, blog, and tweet at home or in a coffee shop, when my son is in preschool, doesn’t need me, or is sleeping. But I have to admit that I do have something I’m glued to — my new laptop. I only had a computer at home until a year ago, and I’m getting so much more accomplished since being able to work wherever WiFi is available and in the living room on the sofa. I often get disctracted trying to get a few minutes of work in while Landon is playing, and I probably tell him to wait “just one more minute” too often, but I’m trying to work on that.
Still, instead of texting, I prefer my coffee at Panera Bread with my phone turned off, next to a crackling fire while reading a good book. For half an hour, I can pretend to be Laura Ingalls in a log cabin, when times where simpler, much less distracting, and only birds tweeted.