Mobile technology is sweeping the nation. Sitting at a computer, perusing the Internet is a thing of the past. With tablets, smart phones and laptops becoming more and more affordable, statistics show at least 33 percent of Americans, over the age of 13, own smart phones, while nearly 50 percent of homes have at least one person with a laptop. Though less people own tablets, such as iPad or Kindle, these numbers are rising drastically each year. Our world is becoming connected like never before.
With the rise of these mobile devices, comes the demand for wireless connectivity. Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and many other businesses are marketing their “Free WiFi” to draw in customers. I remember when HBO was the main attraction on hotel signs. Nothing goes better with coffee and a muffin, like being able to check our email.
All this information at our fingertips is great… or is it? I have seen way too often kids and/or parents with their noses in their phones or tablets at sporting events or out to eat as a family. I never want my daughter to score the winning goal at her soccer game and look up in the stands just to see that her daddy missed it, because I was texting or downloading an app.
Seriously folks, I am not going to sit here and say I am not guilty of tuning out the world as I play online or check my Facebook wall. I try to catch myself, especially when my daughter is with me, and put my phone in my pocket. I know, as a parent, I will never get back these precious moments of my little girls’ childhood, and I definitely don’t want her to feel like her daddy isn’t listening or think she isn't as important as checking my email.
The world is much different than it was just 10 years ago. We live in such a fast pace society, and our lives have become “status updates.” We all know what our friends did last night or ate for lunch through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. The million dollar question is, are we giving our children or other loved ones the same attention we give our iPhones or Androids?
I challenge everyone reading this column, to turn off your cell phones an hour early, close your laptops and sit down as a family for a meal or board game. Basic communication has become lost in the vast realm of cyberspace. Give your kids your undivided attention and show them how important their interests are to you.
Today I turn 39. It seems like yesterday I was warming up formula and freaking out about every little illness as a first-time parent. In a month my little girl will turn 9. Her childhood is flying by me and I want to be involved in her life as much as possible before I miss it. Our constant busy schedules makes it difficult to set time aside for what is truly important to us.
How many roses have you stopped to smell lately?
Clinton Randall is the Webmaster of advocate360.org and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/clintonrandall or follow him on Twitter @clintonjrandall. His column, Tech Talk, discusses all aspects of the technology world. Viewpoints expressed in this column are solely those of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.