How many times do you go back and view old videos and photos on your phone?
I may have done it a handful of times.
I was at a theme park last December getting ready for the fireworks show. We had been waiting patiently, and bought snacks to pass the time. It never fails, right before the show starts, a swarm of people come in to “fill in all available space.” This means we are required to stand, and for my daughter, it means one of us will need to carry her so she can see the show.
While we do our best to get a spot for our daughter to view, we can never get away from phones being in her line of sight. What upsets me even more, is hearing a child who is being ignored by their parent — who is preoccupied filming.
I understand the desire to document the event, but as a parent wouldn’t you want to share the moment with your child more?
After experiencing this situation several times, it helped me identify my word for the new year: present.
I want to be more present in my relationships and interactions. I can name one device that is keeping me from being fully present: my phone.
According to a Common Sense Media study, 52 percent of parents reported spending too much time on their phones, which has doubled since 2016.
My focus this year is to put down my phone when it comes to spending time with my daughter, whether it’s at events for her, or an event we attend together.
Instead of stressing about getting the perfect picture, or capturing a video, I’m taking a step back. I made the decision to embrace having more moments with my daughter by being more present and putting down my phone.
I understand as a parent we feel the need to document everything whether through pictures or videos. Especially when there is a special event.
Since putting down my phone I have found more joy watching my daughter soak up an experience.
We are able to have conversations, and for me, that’s more valuable than a photo on my phone I may never look back at.