At my most recent weekly visit to Tacko for Sunday night dinner, a man and his son at the table next to me caught my attention for something that usually doesn’t concern me. While the son seemed entranced by a movie on his iPad, his father texted and made, what seemed to be, business phone calls.
Although the son was enamored with “Ice Age” and his father with his own work life, I felt sympathy for the son.
My childhood was filled with stories every night from “Goodnight Moon” to “Harry Potter” to “East of Eden” — my dad and I finished the last book last month. All those hours we spent together were prime bonding moments.
At almost every restaurant I go to now, I am increasingly seeing parents who seem more inclined to shut up their children than actually listen to them.
The utilization of technology allows parents to do this. When I was five, I only had a TV and my mom’s flip phone. Technology is moving us farther and farther apart from reality and what is important when it is should connect us.
A study from the University of North Carolina reports a child’s performance in school is linked to the types of activities in which he or she has been involved. When these activities consist of playing video games rather than exercising the mind, school life and work can be affected.
I know first-hand that parents are the biggest influence on their children, because often times I catch myself doing things that emulate my mom and dad — whether it is being bothered by a cabinet door being left open or singing loudly to Steely Dan.
My philosophy class recently read an article by a nurse who asked terminally ill patients what they wished they had done differently with their lives. The most common responses were, “I wish I spent more time with my family” and “I wish I spent less time at work.”
We may have fewer end-of-life regrets if we start by putting down our cell phones when we’re with friends and family. If we change our habits now, we can avoid becoming a generation that allows technology to raise our kids.