I know he made a very recent appearance, but I felt so connected to his topic, that I couldn’t resist bringing him back.
Here he is again, Mr. Anonymous.
The life of a single father (or mother) is a complex one. It’s a whole different beast altogether. I take pride in doing my very best to be an attentive and hands-on parent during the time spent with my precious children. I also try to be respectful at all times about the intrusion of mobile devices and computers in my life. Allow me to start by saying that this has become an issue for both sexes. Parents must stand united in how they deal with what has become “mobile madness” or this invasion of electronics into our private lives. Things have really gotten out of hand.
I truly believe that if either parent sets a bad example of what is acceptable mobile/computer etiquette, you will pay handsomely for years. And studies back me up on this, I kid you not.
Men often frown upon the wives who don’t work, and then who “abuse” the privilege of having such a useful tool at their fingertips. Regardless of which spouse is paying the bill, there is a social responsibility to be mindful of mobile use. It is not uncommon to hear of women who have no jobs, but have monthly bills of hundreds or even thousands of dollars, often in excess of their working husband’s bill. This to me is insane.
I think we need to tackle some critical issues to prevent communication breakdown in the family. I will elaborate. I have a teenager who has learned that texting, calling etc… anywhere is fine, if you do it quickly! Many of the role models she sees around her are always busy with some mobile communication. At school, she witnesses many moms chatting on their cells, e-mailing and texting endlessly, from the minute they park their cars to the minute they arrive home. Whether at the dinner table, restaurant, funeral parlor, even in bedroom, these mobile devices are everywhere, always nearby, always on. There are no boundaries, no sacred moments. How sad for us.
There are basic rules that need to be established which we should follow;
1) Try and limit the time you spend using your device in front of your children and spouse. Even a quick text here or there, is very disruptive and shows little respect for those you love most.
2) Ensure that “car” time is driving time and together time. It’s time to listen to some great music together, and talk about your lives. It’s not a time for you to stop talking and become consumed with electronic chatter. This also applies to your kids if they are of cell phone age. And let’s not forget TEXTING WHILE DRIVING, the hugest no no!
3) Enforce the rule of zero tolerance at the dinner table (unless emergency of course, but a REAL emergency).
4) Encourage use of the device to be very limited in a restaurant or other setting , so as to enjoy that special moment.
5) Explain how important it is for your family’s time to remain unencumbered by excessive interruptions of phone ringing, buzzing and flashing.
As for computer time, it is imperative to limit the use in front of your kids and spouse as well. With school, commitments and extra curricular activities, the time spent together as a family is already so limited, and will only get shorter as everyone grows. With all the intrusions of the modern world and the speed at which everything is moving, it’s important to slow down and appreciate what is happening right in front of your eyes. Right now. With no interruptions.
Yes, cell phones and computers are excellent tools used for accomplishing all kinds of productive tasks. But, the etiquette required to use them has yet to be learned by our society. Just like there are table manners, rules of the road, and a proper way to meet and greet people, there must be rules for mobile use as well. We are out of control. And, as the primary influence on children, women must be at the forefront in tackling this serious issue. It is a social problem that can manifest itself into marital troubles and interpersonal problems for the family as a whole. Remember, any time spent on these devices, is time taken away from your loved ones. You can’t re-create or replace the time that has passed…..it’s gone!
So the next time you’re lying in bed cuddling with your kids, and you’re tempted to reach over to your IPhone and check your Facebook account, think again. STOP, PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.
Ladies, what do you think? Can you relate to this issue? Are you guilty of mobile madness? Are you on the fence about phone and computer use etiquette if you work from home?
Plus, here he is, Jerry Seinfeld discussing Blackberry etiquette. Enjoy!