Would You Go on an Electronic Diet?

San Diego Bargain Mama
My Daughter’s Portrait of Me, 2010

I was recently quoted in an article on TODAY Moms: “Offline parenting: Why some parents post nothing of their kids online”, and it got me to thinking of the boundries we  make as parents surrunding our and our kids’ use of technology.  Early on I had to approach how much I wanted to share my personal life online as well as my family’s, and that is a topic that many parents and bloggers evaluate, and then reevaluate.

I pipe in every here and then, such as I did for OnlineMom.com, when I was welcomed to give my two cents about the “laptop shooting dad” (who since then has still done nor said anything impressive nor redeeming), but ultimately I look at how how our use of technology becomes a relationship in itself – one that we need to establish our own set of rules and regulations for. What works for me might not be what is ideal for my neighbor.  As example, conflict can arise when we focus on our gadgets and they interfere with tending with our childrenor when they have been online too much and should perhaps be outside playing games a bit more the “old skool way.” Likewise, the introduction of social media at a young age can set up kids for trouble, if not monitered correctly.  Ultimately, while we have so many wonderful tools to use to enhance our lives, we also have the burden of having to keep an eye out for things like online safety and time management.

The Huff Post’s new section in thier Parenting vertical, called “Screen Sense” sheds some light on topics such as this.  Their Lifestyle Editor Lori Leibovich recently went on an “electronic diet.”   For one week, Lori put away her iphone and told her kids to take her phone away from her, if they saw her doing anything except taking pictures of them — and the outcome completely changed her views towards technology and it’s impact on her family.

Leibovich says it “felt exhilarating” to use her hands for digging tunnels in the sand and turning the pages of a novel instead of just for tapping away on a screen. And is challenging other moms and parents to go on an electronic diet and give their full attention to their kids — for an hour, day or a week.

She says, “Like all diets, my electronic one wasn’t sustainable. Just as we can’t survive without food, I can’t work or live without my devices. When it came time to reenter my real life, I was determined not to lose the awareness of how screens were interrupting the flow of our family life and virtual beckonings were taking attention away from the real people in front of me. As Anne Lamott said in a recent tweet: ‘At our tiny park, a dad of 30 w/ his 2 yo old didn’t stop texting once. I wanted to swat it out of his hands. This is not a dress rehearsal.'”

Read the full post here: One mom’s electronic diet

What say you?  Would you go on an “electronic diet”?

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