I like to kid around by saying that my cell phone offers way too much access to me. But as the old saying goes, “There’s a little truth in every bit of kidding.”
Recently, I made the self-proclamation “enough is enough” and made an effort to set the phone aside during family hours at home. Why invite the distraction, right? My plan to relieve the distraction was to simply take the phone out of my pocket and set it aside.
Seemed easy enough until the kids started to bring the cell to me saying, “Dad, your phone was vibrating. Here you go.”
Wait, what? The plan was to rid myself of this gadget for awhile… And now, my kids were bringing the cell phone to me, hauling it from room to room and expecting me to interact with the phone instead of them.
Somewhere along the line they picked up a message that the phone was more important than family time. At some point they learned that a phone had the right of way to cut through and interrupt whatever was happening at the time. It was in that moment where I realized that they have seen me pull that gadget out of my pocket waaaay too many times. Most disappointing, I had welcomed its interruption.
The cell phone has been a struggle for me. I like having access to news, articles, emails, twitter, and text messages within my grasp. But going to that stuff instead of being with the family does not make the father I want to be nor is it the example I want to set for technology use.
So, now I have become even more intentional about phone-free hours. I put it away or turn it off all together and then attend to the family and enjoy knowing that I will not be interrupted. It’s amazing how much clarity it has brought to my family time. I just know that I’m to be with my wife or the kids and nothing else. And without question, I enjoy that time more and more. Try it yourself see the freedom this brings.