Have you ever walked into crowded restaurant and only to see multiple tables with a party full of people so enamored with their screens that they might as well be at dinner alone?! This is one of my biggest pet peeves (ask my husband 🙂 ) If you are taking time to spend with someone and they end up on their phone linked to social media the whole time, how much do you think that person values your friendship. As a rule of thumb if I am with someone I will silence my phone and stick it in my purse… I feel that every person has a desire to feel valued and important, this is just one simple way for me to show them that they are.
There have been countless studies about what effect “screen time” has on children. This blog is NOT about the effects of the screen itself, but rather about raising awareness of a social norm that has been changed without us even noticing.
How rude it is when you are in the middle of conversation for someone to bust right on in there with their totally off topic story and totally silencing the current speaker….RUDE! In real life you would look at that and say, “Excuse me, Sister Sally was not done talking yet…” then you would allow her to finish her story about her new dishwasher… Classic bad manners right? When you are talking with someone and that annoying ding goes off and you jump right on to see that Fred that guy you went to high school with an you don’t even talk to anymore just posted a new picture on Instagram it tells that person they are not valued, not important and that any update on that phone will take precedence just follow the ding.
As much as this happens in adult world it happens even more in kid world. No just teenagers… KIDS. They have learned from their surroundings that if present life is not interesting enough to hold their attention, there is always a screen to fall back on. This has resulted in kids not learning how to self-entertain or socialize because thats what the screen is for. I am not saying because your kid has an iPod, iPad, Kindle Fire or Ninetendo DS that they are socially inept. I am saying its time we teach them “Screen Manners”.
Here are 3 simple rules to implement so that your little one know their “Screen Manners” and can be just as cute and polite as you are 🙂
1) If you have friends there….they take priority
The screen will always be there, but we only have a short time with our friends. Whether it be a play date, church, or time at the McDonald’s play place, if it’s not a game you can share with your friend you should find something better to play.
2) If you are spoken to while playing the screen, pause and give eye contact
This seems so simple but it must be said. No game is more important that giving someone the respect of looking them in the eye when they are speaking to you. EYE CONTACT is important!!!
3) Know when enough is enough
Parents this one is more for you to set the proper boundaries for your kids. It’s like if you left a cookie jar filled with their favorite treats right inside the play room and never told them any boundaries on how much they should consume, what would be the result? TUMMY TROUBLE! Kids need parent’s to tell them when they have had enough and to stick with the boundaries they set in place. Every home will look different, but everyone must learn boundaries.
Boundaries….Real People…Show Manners