Wednesday 10 April 2019

Are You My Daddy?

This is an unusual post for me. It's about you, a bit about me, and how we fit.
Two weeks ago, I took my 2yo daughter who loves playing outside to the park. There's a certain tiny swing she loves that's suspended by two chains under a slide. It's unstable to sit upon, can tip either way. And it's high. But she keeps trying.
Ever the daredevil, she lunged across it, probably meaning to hang by her stomach. But she went too far, sliding headfirst to the ground.
Luckily, I caught her before she hit her head. And oblivious to the danger, she happily went to try again. Such a daredevil.
Another little girl saw this.
There was another little girl, of about five or six, watching. She said, "It's lucky you were watching. She's too small for that swing." Then the girl looked across the playground towards her father, probably aged late thirties. "I like how you play with your little girl. My Daddy's too boring." Meanwhile, her father is busily scrutinising his phone's screen as though his life depended on it.
I offered a weak defence for her father's benefit. Something like, "Oh, I'm sure he sees more than you know." But inside, I knew the truth.
Then earlier this week, I saw a post from one of my favourite Australian authors. In reply to about question about Facebook on phones, she replied: I only use my phone for taking photos.
Really? No social media? No email?
That's virtually unheard of, even for people my generation and older. Yet, there it was!
Then I remembered something from her novel - Immortal Bind. A scene where an author's adult daughter laments how her mother spent no time with her children when they grew up.
Traci (the author) was saying something, not just to authors who love burying themselves in their creative work, but for everyone. Live your life!
The Universe acts in strange ways. Not long after that thunderbolt, I started my digital detox. But the Universe wasn't letting me get away with it so easily. A radio show with Carrie Bickmore introduced a Resilience Coach who also specialised in digital detox - helping people to disconnect from social media so they can reconnect with life.
Cut to last Sunday...
I'm at the park with my little girl again. And I look around at the other parents with their children. Of the eight parents I counted, not counting myself, only two were participating with their kids. The rest weren't even there consciously; their brains were absorbed by their phones.
Since when are the thoughts of so-called friends, who we have never met, so important they can steal us from our real friends, our families, our own lives?
Normally, a parent will ask down the track where the time has gone. But these parents will wonder who these new adults are, and why they call them Mum or Dad.
Dead Cell - A psychic thriller guaranteed to keep you off the phone.
Available at Amazon now

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