By Jessica Miller for YourTango
In today's world, you give so much of yourself to others that, by the time you get home, you just want to crash and numb yourself on the Internet. But have you ever wondered what your children see when you choose an electronic device over play time?
There's a new advertisement campaign that depicts the brutal truth that most parents don't want to face. The creators of the ad placed a giant phone between the parent and child to represent the barrier that the child experiences.
My initial reaction when I saw this was, "Oh, this breaks my heart!" As parents, we want our children (and partners) to feel like we're always there for them. We would never intentionally put a barrier between our families and ourselves. Obviously, this ad holds a lot of truth, and, as parents, we need to pause and look at the relationship that we have with our phones.
Do You Have An Addiction To Your Phone?
It's not the phone (or the content) that we're addicted to -- it's the distraction. Since we accepted this non-stop pace in our society, we feel awkward when we slow down. We FREAK out when we have time to chill. We have no clue how to relax anymore, and when we venture into the unfamiliar state of slowing down, we feel so uncomfortable that we reach for whatever's closest to help us escape.
I recently watched this Ted talk by Johann Hari and he mentioned how we're hyper-sensitive to addiction in our world today because we're filling our connection tank with the wrong fuel. Whether it's addiction to your iPhone, food or porn, we're more susceptible to getting hooked because we're lonely.
We've tried to reinvent what intimacy looks like, but our souls aren't having it. We believe that we're overly connected with Snapchat, Instagram and texting, but we're literally the loneliest we've ever been.
How Can We Stop Being So Susceptible To Distraction Addictions?
You can choose to connect, rather than distract.
- You can put the iPhone down and connect with your kid.
- You can shut off your phone when you crawl into bed and cuddle up next to your partner.
- You can look up when you're running errands and make eye contact with fellow community members.
- The Berlin wall wasn't taken down in a day and neither will your habit.
It takes 21 days for your brain to wire in a new habit. That means that you must have patience and persistence.
You'll slide back into old patterns (we all do). When this happens, simply ask your loved ones to remind you of this ad. Then all you need to do is refocus and reconnect with what really matters with your loved ones standing before you.
Jessica Miller is a relationship expert and motivational coach. Her goal is to get you to slow down in order for you to evaluate your life and examine the choices that you're making.