Today I sat and watched a man put his smartphone before his baby girl. As a family, we have been on holiday in Centre Parcs. On the first day, we took our little one swimming.
During lunch, I was sat people watching, my second favourite hobby after writing. Sat at the table was a man with his beautiful baby girl. The child was approximately 6 months old.
My first impression was, look at that. I love seeing father and daughters together. He sat down with her in his arms and started feeding her. My heart started to melt.
Then he produced his phone from his pocket and started scrolling. For the next half hour, he didn’t look at his daughter once. During this time he put his phone down only to retrieve a highchair. Following this, he put his child in it, gave her the bottle back and carried on ignoring her. His social media attention increased then as he had two hands to type with. He didn’t notice his baby had dropped her bottle until his partner mentioned it to him. His sole attention was on his phone. I wonder if he would have noticed if someone had left with his child.
When his partner arrived with their other daughter, they had been swimming. He still did not look up to acknowledge them. Once his partner had sat he got straight up. He started wandering around looking for somewhere to charge his phone.
I don’t think many of you will be surprised to hear that there was a severe lack of plug points in a swimming pool. Unable to charge his phone his whole demeanour changed. He became agitated and even snapped at his family. The family left shortly after.
Having seen the video recently on Facebook where a woman’s child drowned in front of her. She was on the phone and oblivious to all. I know that this incident I observed is becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Having had a baby girl recently I remember feeling sad for the man. He was missing some of the best years with his daughter. He will not remember her face when she first saw the pool or her smile when her sister arrived. He is sacrificing some of his best memories for what? To check the status of a friend he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years.
Social media is so popular and is set to grow. Yet, it is ruining family life. Are we breeding a generation of children who will not be able to sit and talk to people?
Social media is ruining lives, ruining relationships and ruining our children’s behaviour.
So how do we change this outlook? Apple has released an application where you can set limits for social media. Does this go far enough? I would suggest set times in the day of no phones. Dinner time and in the evenings, for example.
I know after seeing this man that my phone is going on a shelf whilst my daughter is about. I’m also reducing my social media presence to a couple of applications only. Most of them I’m going to automate. If my friends want to know what I have been up to I suggest they visit for a cuppa or pick the phone. No more lazy friendship where people follow me to see what I am doing.
What are your opinions on social media?