I am at our local co-op when I run into the mother of one of my son’s friends. We catch up a bit, going back and forth about how the summer is going, and what we are both up to. When I let her know I am spending my time finishing a book on the downside of technology and kids, she lets me know about a trip she and her family recently took.
She tells me how she consciously chose a vacation spot where there was no Wi-Fi access. And she specifically required beforehand that everyone leave their phones at home, not bringing them on the trip. She admitted to being worried about how they would respond to this, as well as how long it would take for her two children to settle down into time together without their devices.
With a big smile, she told me that they had adjusted immediately! How they had talked and sung together as a family for the whole ride up, and how wonderful it had been to be with them without the distractions and the intrusions of the phones. She told me she had pondered creating some kind of a requirement after they got back around times for no cell phone use at home, but felt that it was probably too late now to impose such a thing as both kids would be going off to college in the fall, and were perhaps too old for that kind of thing now. For a moment she paused, appearing to be pondering something. She ended our conversation, speaking more to herself than to me, by saying; “We were a much happier family before the cell phones.”
What do you say to something like that? Everything this woman, or any of us for that matter, needs to proceed around technology and our families is contained in that one heart-wrenching revelation.