I had my itinerary for CES 2012 all planned out in advance, but when you happen upon the start of a panel called “The Dirty Little Secrets of Mommy Bloggers,” there’s really only one thing you can do: sit down.
Beth Blecherman of Techmama, Stacy DeBroff of Mom Central, Mia Kim of Popgadget and Laura Simpson of McCann’s Truth Central were going to discuss their complex relationships with various brands and technology. But the panel got especially interesting when these successful entrepreneurs began talking about how technology was affecting life at home.
Stacy suggested today’s moms are raising “digital natives,” whose time with technology needs to be better managed. But the moms also expressed guilt over how their own use of technology cuts into home life.
And that’s when the dirty secrets came out. I know I have them. And if you’ve ever been accused of being glued to your phone, I bet you have them to.
Let’s face it. How many times have you ever:
- Taken your cell phone into the restroom to tweet in peace
- Told your child you were reading a very important email at dinner when you were actually looking at someone’s Facebook pictures
- Interrupted a conversation to talk about what you had just read on your cell phone
Minor guilty pleasures, right? But now ask yourself if you’ve ever:
- Texted while driving
- Lashed back at someone for complaining about your mobile phone use
- Failed to protect a child from getting hurt because you were texting
Suddenly, these mobile distractions don’t seem so harmless. And the ride between innocent distraction and someone getting hurt (emotionally or physically) is a slippery slope.
Blaming mobile phones and tech addiction for tearing families apart is nothing new. I believe most relationships that can be sunk by technology is being destroyed by something much deeper than that. But there’s no denying the resentment our kids can feel when cell phones seem to rise to the top of the pecking order. How will it impact their development? Their confidence?
Many people I know seem to have figured out a way to strike that difficult balance between their real lives and the digital ones. Have you? Do you have set digital boundaries? How do you manage them with your loved ones?