One of the ironies of iGen life is that despite spending far more time under the same roof as their parents, today’s teens can hardly be said to be closer to their mothers and fathers than their predecessors were. “I’ve seen my friends with their families—they don’t talk to them,” Athena told me. “They just say ‘Okay, okay, whatever’ while they’re on their phones. They don’t pay attention to their family.” Like her peers, Athena is an expert at tuning out her parents so she can focus on her phone. She spent much of her summer keeping up with friends, but nearly all of it was over text or Snapchat. “I’ve been on my phone more than I’ve been with actual people,” she said. “My bed has, like, an imprint of my body.”
Emphasis mine. I don’t think this will happen in our family, but reading it here makes it seem non-obvious: we don’t allow devices at dinner or gathering times. Devices are like books: you wouldn’t open a book at glance at a page when talking to another person.
That said, there are definitely times where Clover feels left out, such as when adults are doing mobile logistics, which means and like of checking and replying. But it is also so apparent that C is reacting to feeling left out.
Lastly, my kid will lose their devices so fast if they pulled that shit I emphasized above! We aren’t going to check out on each other.
Thinking on this, I realized now that my parents would have probably loved smartphones, and maybe my life would have been better had my family be able to check out. The anxiety and trauma, maybe it could have been… hmmm, mitigated? Nah, can’t think about bullshit answers to bullshit questions.
I feel compassion when I am present, that’s enough for me.