Before you get all excited, this is a G rated blog! Since I posted yesterday about The Snoring Saga that inhibits a good night’s sleep for me, I thought I would follow it up with a sleep inhibiting habit that occurs nightly in our house.
You see, my husband and I are both lifetime insomniacs. It’s horrible if you happen to not deal with it. I honestly don’t remember the last time that I had a good, solid, night of sleep. And I’m talking even pre-children. Anyway, we both have a hard time shutting down our brains to try to go to sleep. And in spite of the fact that my husband has a Doctorate in Psychology, and knows that having a TV on while you sleep is one of the worst things you can do, he still insists on going to bed with the TV on. And at times brings the iPad to bed to use before drifting off to sleep.
I on the other hand, have a hard time falling asleep with the TV on. Even with the sound turned down fairly low, it still catches my ear and I find myself listening, it doesn’t seem to help me shut my brain down, but instead, stimulate it. In addition, the light, especially when it flashes brightly, bothers me. But pick your battles right?! I have adjusted to trying to go to sleep with it on.
Thinking about this situation led me to think back to times before we had all of this technology that we have today. My older kids now have iPhones, thanks to their dad, and they already had Kindles and video gaming systems. We have laptops, computers, an iPad, and three TV’s in our home. It seems that all everyone is ever doing in our house is sitting and using some type of electronic device. In fact last night my 12-year-old son had a few friends over for a sleepover. At one point I went upstairs and they were all sitting playing on an individual device. I had to think, what’s the point of having friends over if you are all going to do your own thing? I have tried to implement “Technology Time” from an idea that I saw on Pinterest, and even made up some punch cards that the kids had to keep track of their time on. But somehow this went to the way side, and I know that we need to get back to limiting their screen time. At 9 and 12, the older kids all seem to have lost interest in any type of toy, and I find it difficult to come up with things to engage them. Remember when you were a kid and you played outside all day long, made up your own games, rode your bike. Yeah, well, those days seem to be far gone.
What happened to society that caused us to feel the need to be constantly connected? I admit that I am just as bad as anyone else, only I just use my phone. Life seemed so much simpler, less stressful and less chaotic before we had all of this technology stuff. I remember when you actually had to call someone to have a conversation with them. Wow, what a concept! Staying connected has just become a way of life. But our lives, and those of our children, are suffering because of it. As parents, when we spend time on our devices, we are turning our attention away from our children, and for that matter, our spouses. I know, I do it all too often myself.
So how can we find a happy medium between staying connected to the social media world, and staying connected to our family? Because of course, this is real life, and technology devices aren’t going away.