Posted: Nov 20, 2013 10:00 AM
Televisions, smartphones, tablets and computers. We use them all and so do our kids. While these devices might make life easier, is it really good for us to be constantly plugged in? What are we missing and how will it affect our kids later in life? This plugged-in mom shares her thoughts.

The plugged-in me

I started my first blog in January of 2011. Before that, I was not on any social media networks and only used my smartphone to make phone calls, send text messages, check emails and play the occasional game of solitaire.

However, everything changed the day I took a personal branding class and had to establish an online identity. I was suddenly immersed in the world of Facebook, Twitter and blog reading. I discovered there was a whole world online filled with so many people from all over the world. I was instantly hooked.

Fast forward almost three years and you’ll see that I’m completely plugged in. I run two blogs, freelance write for two different websites, have more than one Twitter account, manage various Facebook pages and on and on. I have a laptop, an iPad and an iPhone and sometimes it feels like I am attached to at least one of those devices most of the day.

Looking around

line of people on smartphonesLooking outside my plugged-in life, I notice that it’s not just me. My 10-year-old daughter won’t leave the house without her iPod Touch. My 4-year-old is always asking to play her games on the iPad. In the waiting area at martial arts, kids and adults alike are looking down at little screens.

Everywhere I look I see devices in use. I see people extremely frustrated when they can't connect to the internet. I see people looking down at their phones while driving. Technology addiction is a real thing and it's all around us.

So, what's the problem?

As we spend our time focused on the online world, we are missing out on what's right in front of us. Over the past three years I've spent countless hours connected to my iPhone when I should have been paying attention to my kids, exercising, cooking dinner or doing other activities that could improve my life. I'm now better talking to people via text messages and emails than I am in person. How sad is that?

Our time is limited and we should be spending it enjoying the world around us, not constantly connected to the internet.

While I know that technological advances have helped society as a whole and me personally (I probably wouldn't be able to work from home without technology), I think that we need to pay attention to the amount of time we spend online. Our time is limited and we should be spending it enjoying the world around us, not constantly connected to the internet.

We don't want to look back in 30 years when our kids are grown up and realize that we spent more time putting pictures of them on Instagram than we did playing games with them. We also don't want to raise our kids to think that life only occurs online. We want them to know what it's like to play outside and have present parents.

Go ahead, put down the phone and spend some time unplugged. Your life will be better for it.

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