The other day it was pouring the rain. My husband, children and I were heading to our friends’ house for a movie night. They were supplying dinner and we were bringing dessert. I wasn’t able to make anything, so we went to Kroger to buy something to take with us.
We were walking through the busy parking lot. My youngest son and I were in the lead. We had approached the lain in front of the store and a car motioned for us to go on through. I was holding my phone in my left hand, and my son attempted to grab my hand. He only sometimes wants to hold my hand in public and it caught me off guard.
When he grabbed my hand, my phone fell in a large puddle of water. I grabbed it as fast as I could, because the car was waiting, and we walked to the entrance of the store. I looked down at him and he was crying. I asked him what was wrong, and he started crying harder.
In front of the store entrance, I got down on my knees and looked up at him. I asked him again what was wrong, and he told me that he broke my phone. I told him the phone wasn’t broken, and that it was okay.
He held my hand and we entered the store, but he was still crying. So, again, I got down and asked him what was wrong, and he said again that he had broken my phone. I asked him if he thought that I thought my phone was more important than him. His response broke my heart. He told me he didn’t know. This wasn’t a flippant response, he generally didn’t know.
I assured him that I would rather have my phone crushed to pieces than to have him hurt. I would rather have his hand in mine that have my phone. He looked unconvinced.
I asked him if he believed me. He told me he did, but he was still crying. People were staring at us, and some even moved close so they could hear our conversation. Some people smiled at me as they heard what I was saying, but there was nothing about the conversation that made me smile. I was devastated. My nine-year-old son legitimately thought that I loved my phone more than him.
On my way to our friends’ house, I thought about all the times that I used my phone. I realized that I have a serious problem with my phone. It’s one of the first things I check when I wake up, and one of the last things I look at when I go to bed. If I am bored in the car, I look at it. If I am bored at the house, I look at it.
I have trouble with idle time. When my brain isn’t actively being used, I begin to worry about things. I try my best to keep it active by doing puzzles, crocheting, reading, writing, etc. However, there are times that isn’t possible, so I play with my phone.
I am working hard to make the changes that I need to make. I would rather stare at my children’s face than that of my phone. I would rather hold my husband’s hand in the car, instead of my phone. Our phones have become a distraction to the relationships in our lives. Facebook, games, internet, snapchat and other apps take the place of face-to-face interactions.
I have created a list of vows for myself, of times that I will not use my phone.
I will not use my phone when I am with friends/family, unless it to show them something.
I will not use my phone during a meal.
I will not look at my phone until I have kissed my husband good morning.
I will not look at my phone once I go to bed.
I will not look at my phone while others are talking to me.
I want to be present, not just have a presence. I will do better, because I never want my loved ones to feel like my phone has more value than them.