Technology

What our Kids Really Need

Postcard   new  year   clock‘Tis the season when kids make their lists and we check them twice, determined to please the ones we love with that perfect gift. But before we gear up for another trip to the shopping mall, let’s take the time to stop. Breathe. Put those lists down. And consider.

What is it our kids truly need?

Written between the lines of holiday wants lies something deeper. Something more costly than anything our imaginations can conjure up. Something that can’t be bought at the mall.

My friend once lamented that she got a second job so she could get her kids all they needed, only to find they needed something more. Her hours of labor provided for material things while robbing her family of precious time together. She was slowly losing her kids to technology, and eventually to gangs, drugs, and more. Looking back, her greatest regret was missing out on her kids’ lives for the sake of getting them more stuff.

As we think of the kids in our lives, most everyone would agree one of our greatest endeavors is to make them happy. It’s at this juncture that we stand to lose the very thing we venture to gain. If in pursuit of making our kids happy we rob them of our presence in their lives, we’ve missed our greatest opportunity. What they need is relationship—not with a screen, a gadget, or a piece of plastic, but with the people most important in their lives.

If stacking up gifts under the tree means racking up credit card debt that will consign us to overtime labor in the coming year, it’s not worth it. Deep down, our kids don’t want to be home alone with things while we slave away at the office just to pay it all off. More than our presents, they need our presence. They want, and need, us. IN their lives. It’s the greatest gift we can give, to them…and to ourselves.

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Resolved.

blog_snowwalk

Resolved. This year. To spend more time living in the real world than in the screen-sized world. To spend more time in relationship with the real people in my real life than with strangers in the media life. And to think for myself, free from the dictates of modern media and social trends.

 

Photo Credit: 2 Person Walking on Snowfield during Daytime · Free Stock Photo

Living in the Real World

blog_umbrellasI have an important question to ask you. It’s one that I’ve asked myself often, and with increasing measure as I move forward in age and life. Are you really thinking for yourself?

We live in an age where the media tells us to do this very thing. Think for yourself! Be your own person! Be unique! Yet this message comes coupled with the reality that our minds are not our own unless we’re willing to fight for them. For something that seeks to command our attention each waking moment also threatens to consume our minds.

Yes, the media tells us to think for ourselves all the while telling us what to think. It tells us to be our own person while dictating how we should act, dress, and respond. It tells us to be unique while insisting that if we are not in line with it’s values, we’ll face verbal persecution if not worse.

It saddens me when I go to family get-togethers and social gatherings only to observe this: all of us on our media devices, disconnected from the real world around us. We’re attached to our screens 24/7 minus the hours we sleep, and sometimes we don’t even sleep because the screen calls us from physical slumber.

But there’s a different kind of slumber I want to wake up from this year. It’s a screen-driven slumber. Though I’m thankful for all the friendships I’m able to maintain and all the family I’m able to stay connected with thanks to the gift of social media, I’m tired of being lulled to sleep by the light of a screen. And though there is good that can come from screen-time: inspirational quotes, blog posts, and programs, I want to free my mind from the excess baggage that comes along with modern technology.

Resolved. This year. To spend more time living in the real world than in the screen-sized world. To spend more time in relationship with the real people in my real life than with strangers in the media life. And to think for myself, free from the dictates of modern media and social trends.

 

Photo Credit: Free stock photo of colourful, umbrella