This post was inspired by an innocent question my Mum once asked me. “What are you even doing on your phone all the time?”. I explained it to her and now she gets it, completely. Mum’s question makes it sound like I’m faffing around with it 24/7 when in reality I’m not. I just use mine a lot more than she uses hers – and for more things! The truth is, us millennials have a bit of a bad rep when it comes to mobile phones (or cell phones, for my American readers), but I’m here to explain to everyone else who has questioned it in the past, that we’re not just ‘playing on our phone’ all the time, and it’s unfair to assume that we are.
Mobile phones have come a long way over the years. They are a far cry from the bricks that most of us first had. They are called smartphones for a reason, after all. I’ll be the first to admit that I think of my phone as something as a ‘heart monitor’, I get a bit fidgety if it’s not in my vicinity. But I do think that’s the modern way and probably is a bit of a generation thing. I might be wrong, but I can only explain it from my own perspective. But the point of this blog post is more to explain why you might think we’re on our phones all the time. And to ask you not to assume that we’re just being anti-social or we are uninterested in what’s going on around us.
Articles like this one, don’t help when it comes to trying to explain our side of the story. So I hope this blog post goes some way in helping.
As I have mentioned, phones are smart these days. In fact, the thing I use it for least is making phone calls, believe it or not! They have cameras, photo editing software, email, social media networks, apps connected to your child’s school, banking and other finances, calendars, health and fitness apps, family locators and the list goes on. You may notice I didn’t even mention games because these are something that is in the major minority on my phone. I don’t actually have time for games!
I’m a busy mum, both employed and self-employed. I cram a lot of stuff into my week. It takes a lot of organising to keep on top of it all. I work hard alongside my husband to provide for my family and running this blog takes time and a whole lot of effort. Thankfully it’s a job I can juggle around my family life but every now and again that might mean I have to use my phone to do something important. It might be replying to an email in the hope of securing a well-paid job. It might be submitting an invoice for the job I stayed up until really late the night before finishing after I had put my little boy to bed. Because you know, a bloggers work is never done!
The thing is many people assume that if you’re on your phone, you’re either scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. Well if you’re a regular here, you’ll know I do social media a lot less these days! So there is a huge chance that there are others out there like me too.
Mums and Dads these days get judged if they are sat with their kids on their phone. Do the people judging them ever stop to think that maybe they are doing something that is vital?
Perhaps they are texting the childminder to make sure that their other child is okay after they felt a bit poorly when they dropped them off that morning? Maybe they are arranging time off work so they can spend more time with the child they are with. Maybe that parent on their phone is struggling to make ends meet and is chasing payment for a job that’s overdue. Perhaps they are having to move money from one bank account to the other to pay for the meal that they have just eaten. Maybe, just maybe, they are juggling everything they can to help make the day a little bit better for their child because being a parent isn’t an easy job.
I’m not saying there are parents out there who aren’t guilty of spending time ‘playing on their phone’ when they should be paying more attention to their children. Because there are. All I am saying is don’t assume that we are all like that. We may hold a phone in our hands, but it so much more than just a phone. Sometimes it’s a lifeline. And there is so much more behind every person that you see holding the phone.
Please don’t judge. Please don’t just assume. Don’t give a look that may make that Mum or Dad feel worse than they may already do. There could be a very good reason why they’ve had to pick the phone up and they shouldn’t have to justify it to anybody. Least of all stranger. Just be kind, It could be you one day.
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