Modern technology has several notable advantages. There have been incredible inventions in health, science, and communications — all of which have helped make society much more progressive, healthier, and happier than ever before. For the most part, that is. Of course, there are certain drawbacks to technology. Specifically, this universal feeling of dependence to our phones and the habit of constantly checking social media. Sure, you may have heard from your own parents to spend less time scrolling Facebook, but this dad's story about being on his phone too much will actually make you put yours away.
Dad and blogger, Brad Kearns, uploaded a serious truth-bomb to his Facebook page last week — which has since gone viral. Alongside a photo of Kearns and his son, he wrote about a specific experience that made him realize he was spending way too much time scrolling through social media instead of engaging with his children. Kearns, who is a father to 3-year-old Knox and 18-month-old Finn, often posts honest and relatable stories to his page, but this one in particular has struck a chord with many moms and dads. Honestly, so many parents have deeply related to Kearns' post, with many commenting on it and commending him for saying something that not many are willing to speak up about. Kearns got real, and his post is already helping other parents.
Explaining how his son was trying to get his attention one afternoon, Kearns wrote on Facebook:
He was trying to show me one of his cars. I didn't even look up from my phone when I replied "wow mate that's a cool one". He continued to stand in front of me. He started saying "Hi". I said "Hi" back at him a few times but he didn't stop. He got another toy and kept trying to get my attention.
But, as he explained, Kearns continued to look at his phone. He was trying to "keep up with the world," as he put it, but wasn't able to give his son the attention he deserved.
Kearns continued, explaining how he kept ignoring his son's request to look at him and play with him.
Eventually I looked up from my phone and said "Daddy's busy mate, can you go and play with Finn". He walked out of the room and began playing quietly in the other room with his brother. I continued scrolling. He came back in and the same thing happened.
Kearns said that at that point, he hadn't really seen Knox in two days because of work and how hectic life was at the moment. "I realised shortly after and put my phone away," he wrote. "I felt like sh*t."
After discovering that he was turning into the kind of father he didn't think he would be, as he explained, Kearns put his phone down and went to play with his son. Since then, he has taken a conscious break from social media and posting updates for a month, which he described as being, "the best month with my boys."
And Kearns' post has definitely made an impact, as many parents struggle with learning to focus solely on their children. According to a study from AVG Technologies, a staggering 32 percent of kids aged 8 to 13 felt "unimportant when their moms and dads were distracted by their phones," according to Parenting.com. What's more, "54 percent of the kids think their parents spend too much time on their phones," according to the study — which is actually a lot of children.
Another study actually found that the more often parents get distracted by their phones, the more often they reported behavior issues with their children. According to The Telegraph:
Even relatively low levels of interruptions — such as checking texts while talking to children — were associated with greater child behaviour problems, such as oversensitivity, hot tempers, hyperactivity and whining.
Obviously, parenthood isn't easy, but it's still necessary to be involved in your children's life. Clearly, Kearns learned a lot from such a not-so-little moment, and hopefully his vulnerability will inspire others to take a break from technology, even just for a little bit, to spend time with their children. "Kids don't give a sh*t about the world," Kearns wrote. "All they care about is you being right there with them."
And truly, parents are the most important people in the whole world to their children, and while it's certainly more than OK to want to take a break from your kids, it's just as important to take a break from your phone, or whatever is distracting you. Kids need their parents to be fully present, and that's no joke. As Kearns said, "We need to put the phones down when we're with them."
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