A Resolution for Our Families

January 8 2014, 10:45 AM

‘Tis the season for resolution making. Sure you'd like to workout more, eat better, and maybe take on a new hobby. How about just being with your family? I'm not the first one to propose this idea (watch this), but a recent trip to a Denver restaurant cemented my hunch that the minutes I waste on my phone are adding up.  

At a local fast-casual restaurant recently, I walked past a family of six with kids that ranged from around 10 years old down to a toddler. Five people at the table had either an iPhone or iPad in their hands. A lone girl, about six years old, was the only one not checking emails, playing games, or perusing Facebook. She was coloring.

In the short time I observed this family, they didn’t speak to one another. That is until the toddler began to squeal for his dinner. The mother then hushed her young son—without ever taking her eyes away from the screen.

People are going to check their phones, sift mindlessly through email, cruise through their Twitter feeds. But it shouldn't be at the expense of all the little moments that make life off the screen, well, real. With a little one of my own, people constantly—every single day—tell me how fast parenting will go, how they'll be grown before I know it. Which makes me wonder: By checking my phone every couple minutes, what am I missing? Are the 90 seconds here and there checking an ephemeral Facebook update or a Pinterest idea I'll probably never use worth being psychologically absent?

My answer: No. 

If you are still searching for a 2014 New Years resolution, don't worry about adding another task to your already overbooked to-do list. Make a pledge to really be present with family.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow editorial assistant Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.