After every show or really during the show I begin to think about where I want to take the show and myself next.
This time I wasn’t quite sure though I had a feeling it would be to not make plans quite yet for the next show.
I took a morning to myself and went to my local bookstore the day or two after the show concluded and bought “The Big Disconnect” by Catherine Steiner-Adair.
I will admit, that I have probably read 1 other book since all three of my kids have been born. OK, maybe 3 but that’s it.
This book has really both disturbed me and motivated me to make some changes.
On the front jacket the book says “Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.” The photo’s artwork just screamed at me at the bookstore. Yes, yes, that’s where I need to dive into next.
Technology is driving me crazy.
Ironically, I built Expressing Motherhood due to technology, taking submissions via email during my kids nap time. But I didn’t have an iPhone and I didn’t even use Twitter. I was against it and mocked my good friend and mom who loved their iPhones. Then of course I got hooked and began using Twitter, Instagram and our ExMo Facebook account with regularity.
Cut to my children, turning and staring at my hands and then my eyes.
Not my eyes first.
It makes me sick. Literally.
I even have stopped chatting on the phone with my closest friends. And do I feel more connected. Hell no. I am lonely as fudge(censored.)
Ahh, I have so many thoughts and yet I want to call my friend tonight and watch The Bachelor so I’m just going to throw them out there.
Here are a few of the passages I underlined, I’m not all the way through the book, I have to put it down from time to time as I become unnerved.
“When texting begin to take the place of substantive in-person conversations for any of us, we are training the language and speech centers of our brain for a new, unnatural, and superficial model of connection.” (The Big Disconnect)
That really concerns me in regards to kids.
“…kids are developing a seriously disordered understanding of what it means to truly communicate: to hear a voice, process the incoming and outgoing messages, engage directly with someone that way.” (The Big Disconnect)
The author talks about how teens deem phone conversations too personal! That really freaks me out.
“As our kids have grown accustomed to the detached and superficial quality of texting and online messaging, they have become to averse to spontaneous conversation…They describe a phone conversation, even with a friend, as “too intense,” or “so intrusive.” (The Big Disconnect)
She talks about how our phone usage as parents effects our little ones. How they see it as whoever their mom and dad is talking to is so much more important then them. The almighty phone. She explains that being ignored so much is similar to the feelings a child of a narcissist encounter. And that’s not good. Trust me on that one.
OK, I might have lost some of you, I’m not yelling I swear, I’m just frightened and intrigued.
So this weekend I didn’t carry my phone with me.
And we had.
The best three days.
We have ever had.
Me and my three kids that is.
We were lost in play. Yesterday, due to our gorgeous, drought of a Winter I wanted to capture pushing my girl in the swing so badly. It was a perfect, perfect moment. I ran inside and thought I could hide the phone and quickly snap from behind.
Full storage, read my phone. I tried to delete stuff to make space. I took up time. It took my attention.
My 2 and 1/2 year-old sailed back and forth and said, “No touch the phone mommy.”
I said OK, no touch.
Then she said, “Touch me mommy.”
I did not make that up.
Yesterday I headed out to go see The Book of Mormon and I arrived early so I sat and had a glass of wine at the W Hotel.
Everyone was on their phone. Even people who were with their friends. It was creepy.
Really, really creepy.
A woman even Facetimed someone!!!! She put her ear buds in and did it.
I will never forget when I was 25 and had to wait for someone at a swanky place on Sunset Boulevard. I sat for about 40 minutes and finally a man came over and said, “You wait very gracefully.”
I said thank you and laughed and he walked away.
It was an intimate moment.
He had observed me I guess. Just sitting. It was pre-iPhone, remember I’m a dinosaur.
At any rate, how will our kids learn to wait I wonder?
The author talks about how we give off the vibe to people that they aren’t very important when we are on our phones and that makes me very sad for our children. I loved and still do love interacting with strangers.
She even addresses giving screens to our kids so we can run errands. Handing them to our kids so they don’t cry.
“When we hand our baby a touch screen to keep her occupied or entertained, she’s missing the opportunity to engage herself-litearlly, to engage with her own inner self, her feelings and processes for learning and adapting in the moment.”
OK, the Bachelor has started. I suddenly am saying to myself are you preaching here? I’m not, I’m just needing to rap out about this book and about where I find myself.
Oh but before I forget, the part that really gets me is when she reminds us to reach out and hug the ones we love first thing in the morning rather then reach for our iPhones.
I am going to set a date, place and time for a Book Club to discuss this book. So read it if you want to meet and discuss. I’ll plan it tomorrow.