Sunday, March 23, 2014

No electronics for now

My dearest daughter,

I'm saddened to learn that you're distressed about your digital life. That you're "the only one in the entire third grade who doesn't have an electronic."

I'm sad because when I pick you up at extended care, I see groups of you huddled around a hand-held device. I'm sad because you think that somehow you're missing out because you don't have an iPhone 5 or a iPad or other digital tool.

Yes, mommy has an Android. And yes, she's stuck using it a lot. For work. This is what happens when mom runs social media. But most times I resent having that device. I resent the fact that it interferes with my life, that I need to run to the phone when I get an alert to make sure it's not a complaint or burgeoning crisis.

I miss the days when I was unplugged. When I wondered aloud "Why do I need to have a cell phone?" When 30 channels had nothing on, and then I moved on.

But it's not about me. This letter is about you.

If I have the news on, I can happily work on laundry or dishes and listen in the background. But even a commercial is cause for you to stop whatever you're doing. And yes, I realize some of your homework is now computerized but I don't like you fighting with your brother for game after game on abcya.

There's an awesome world to explore. In nature, in books, in relationships. And when you're hiding behind a device - whether a TV, a computer or a game player - you're hiding from the world. You're hiding from conversations, from craft, from life.

When you grow to the ripe old age of 39, you'll realize that you don't recall the shows you watched on TV or the games you played online. You'll remember the fights you had with your brother playing Sorry, the worms you dug for with your neighbor in the garden, the friendships you made at soccer.

So baby, let's stay unplugged, for just a little bit longer.

Love, Mom.

Linked to Motivation Mondays at


Aimee said...

Oh how I empathize. I have a third grader, too, and a fifth grader, and apparently they are the single most deprived children in the universe, because they don't have phones.

Mama Carmody said...

So proud of you, Going Green Mama. I don't understand why parents think elementary school age children need portable electronics. It makes me sad when I see little ones (toddler and preschoolers) with electronics in their hands going thru stores. I'm sure they aren't theirs but I think of all the interaction with their parents and the world that they are missing out on by having their face stuck in electronics.

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

I emphathize, too! I was told that other 4th graders in my son's class have phones. So...we went through when he would need the phone. Guess what? There's no reason to have one. :)

Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!

Green Bean said...

What a beautiful post, Robbie. I so agree with you. Screen time is a constant battle with my kids and it just kills me when I see them at recess or after school all huddled around a single small screen. We are still holding out from electronics away from school and I have a 3rd and 5th grader. They use the computer for very limited time during the week unless it relates directly to homework.