When Distractions Keep Us from Our Kids

Christina Fox

 

“Mom. Mom. Mom!”

I looked up at my son. “I’m sorry. What?” I asked.

“Did you hear anything I said?”

“No,” I admitted.

“I think you are addicted to your phone,” he remarked.

Justifications and excuses lingered on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to tell him about the “important” email I had to send. But the truth is, he was right.

The Pull of Technology

I recently wrote an article about investing the limited time we have with our children. One of the biggest drains of our time is technology because of the access it gives us to a virtual life. Our lives revolve around this access and its pull on us is strong. There’s always email to check, texts to respond to, statuses to update, images and videos to see or post. And they must be done right away (or so we think) — putting everything else on pause.

No doubt, technology provides many benefits to our lives. But we can’t be naïve to the consequences, including primarily its impact on our in-person relationships. It entices us away from face-to-face contact and real authentic connections. More often than not, it’s a time waster. It sucks us in and consumes hours. We think we are logging in to check one thing and an hour later we finally come up for air. The limited granules in the sands of our life’s clock trickle down while our fingers swipe and click our days away. And like my son reminded me, how much of real life is missed when our eyes are glued to the screen of our virtual life?

Technology, like anything good, can turn sour when our hearts distort its role. The ability we have to read emails, texts, and status updates gives us a rush. It’s fun, and we just keep going back for more. But time is too valuable. It is a treasure in its own right. And make no mistake: the inordinate use of technology lusts for our time — our treasure — which lusts for our hearts. It subtly moves in and tries to prop up the idol of self, attempting to convince us that the virtual world of “me, myself, and I” is more important than the real life happening right in front of us.

When I really think about it, my heart is convicted. I don’t want my kids to think that I care more about responding to a message than I do about them. When I consider how much time I have wasted, time I will never get back, I’mdoubly convicted. Guilt settles in. I try harder and set rules for my use of technology. I resolve to not be consumed by it.

But then sooner or later I fail again.

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