Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Live Tweeting Your Childhood

"Mommy turn that OFF!"

This is something my two year old has started to say to me about my cell phone or laptop. (And right when I decided to start a momblog - thanks kid.)

I've struggled with this since FrenchFry was born as I think most parents do. I remember reading these articles stating that mothers shouldn't be using smartphones while nursing their babies. We are supposed to lovingly stare into their eyes and connect with them or something. 

Um.... Do these people realize how BORING breastfeeding can be?

The little buggers are latched onto you for like 18 hours a day at first. And I'm supposed to just stare into their little haven't-learned-to-make-eye-contact-yet baby eyes all of that time? Okay...

Need to get Google Glass before the next kid!

Actually, when FrenchFry was a baby my preferred medium was Netflix on the iPad. I watched all 6 seasons of West Wing and countless other shows. What else are you going to do to keep yourself from falling asleep at three am?  Plus FrenchFry was always a long nurser.  Straight up until he was one he would nurse for at least 45 minutes every session.  That's the exact time it takes to watch an hour show minus the commercials. That can't be a coincidence. He knew what was up. 

Sometimes though I really worry about being the distracted mom. Or what I'm teaching FrenchFry by spending so much time on these devices in his presence.  Sometimes it's reading Facebook or more recently spending mindless time on Twitter.  Other times it's that I have my phone out to take pictures and video because I want to capture all of these awesome moments with him.  And then feel compelled to live tweet it or post it on Instagram and Facebook immediately.

Sometimes I just wish I had a device where I could take pictures that wasn't connected to the Internet. Hrm....

Oh right.... that thing.

This also goes back to the struggle to be truly present in the moment.   By taking photos and video of all of the amazing moments with him, am I pulling myself out of just being there and being present with him?  It's really hard to say because it doesn't feel that way most of the time. 

This study got some traction last year citing "photo-taking-impairment" which means that people who take photos (in this case of objects in a museum) were less likely to remember what they saw than those that did not take photos.  But even the authors of the study found that if you interacted with the object and added some focus like zooming in on specific details of the object while taking the picture you could counteract the photo-taking-impairment effect.  And I know that when I'm with FrenchFry, even if I'm taking photos or swinging by my Facebook feed when posting them briefly, I'm honed into the details of how hard he laughs when I push the swing higher or how he pronounces "My see a pretty duck."  And I enjoy all of the little details that make him so amazing to me every day.

Lately I've been trying to pay more attention to my usage of all of these devices around FrenchFry, especially since he's clearly been picking up on it and asking me to turn my phone off.  Sometimes I try to force myself to wait until we get home to post the photos I take when we are out doing fun stuff,  and sometimes I still live tweet every moment of the day.  It's a challenge, and I'll keep working at it to make sure that I'm not missing any moments of what is going on right in front of me.

But I'm not going to take less photos... I just can't.  And if I did, I wouldn't have pictures like this to hang up in my cube at work to help get me through the work day until I can come back home to my little family.

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