Regular checks of mobiles to see online updates - Argus Friday 14th August
Posted Monday 21st September 2015 By Ericka Waller
UNSURPRISINGLY, a recent study has found that children feel “ignored” and that “they are not being given enough attention” by gadget-obsessed parents. Interesting, mobile phones did not come out till I was 20, yet as a child I too felt ignored by my mum and that I was not being given enough attention. I still do feel this way about my mother in fact. Let’s not blame technology as the only reason we grow up feeling slightly hard done by. My mum did not have a mobile phone but she had a horse called Mary-Pops who seemed to be everything I was not, and all that she was looking for. Mary was not at all technical. She was not even very good at jumping.
I would spend hours cold and forgotten on a hay bale while mum lovingly scraped mud, poo and horse-nuts from under ‘Poppet’s’ hooves, before giving her a full body massage.
People used to ask me ‘Hey, why the long face?’ But I don’t hate horses. I don’t go round kicking them and saying “I could have been a someone were it not for you, you long-faced foal”. I’m over it (honest).
And now I am a mother myself.
I don’t have a horse (who would?) but I do have an iPhone 6, and she’s beautiful.
If you have ever spent vast amounts of time alone with small children, you will know how very lonely it can be and, I’ll have to whisper this bit, boring.
My mobile phone is my life-line. I take great comfort in reading about other mum’s terrible mornings on Facebook. It lifts my spirits.
I also like seeing photos of people’s messy houses and filthy children. They make me feel better about myself.
Posts bragging about “darling children and cherishing every second” do not make me feel good, but I tell myself they are making it up for attention (because they never had any as a child).
I also wonder how sincere they are in their claim to cherish every second when they’ve just spent ten minutes making a complicated montage of photos and tagging in everyone they know.
My mobile phone unifies me as much as it isolates me.
It used to take a village to raise a child, now it takes an online universe.
I don’t sit and chat to the person next to me in the park (until I have Googled them and checked we have some mutual friends on Facebook).
I sit and like photos and tweets from random people who followed me online. I also take thousands of photos and videos of the children to make up for the lack of ones I had taken of me.
Guess who was proudly depicted in oil with her own dimmer-light above our mantelpiece? Yes, that’s right, Pop’s.
I don’t think I use my phone too much. I don’t use it any more than any other normal person.
Everyone looks at their phone all the time and never lets it out of sight.
Ok, ok, so maybe “The lady doth protest too much”.
I use my phone all the time.
I use it far too much. I claim I’m ‘working’ but I’m not.
I’m seeing how many likes my latest post or photo has got.
I am that shallow and unfulfilled that I need this endorsement from total strangers. (It’s not my fault. I did not get enough attention as a child, I’ll take it any form I can get).
When I was holidaying with my brother recently, he remarked that my children often called my name three or four times before I answered, because I was on my phone.
This made me feel dreadful, so I later Whatsapp’d him some home-truths about his own parenting style.
He told on me to mum. She did not care. We all survived.
When I read studies like the ones above, I swear I will change. I vow that I won’t touch my phone for the next hour, but then it buzzes and I simply must find out what has happened.
Maybe I’ve just won something on eBay, maybe I’ve just been outbid on something I want to win on eBay, for my children.
My mobile phone is like an ingrown hair. I can’t leave the poxy thing alone.
Maybe some of you are fellow phone obsessed parents and we can change our ways together.
We could set up a support group and talk about how we feel, face-to-face(time) then all hold hands at the end of each session and chant “Facebook is foul, Twitter is twisted, Whatsapp is wicked” before burning our phones on pyre of (insured) plastic.
Maybe not though.
I would not want my kids to feel ignored and that they were not getting enough attention while I was at my support group.