I want to begin with a fun and insightful little quiz.
How old is the iPad?
a. 15 years old
b. 10 years old
c. 5 years old
d. 2 years old
Before you read further, how confident are you with your answer?
If you guessed a, that was 2000. Myspace and Facebook didn’t exist yet.
If you guessed b, that was 2005. Google maps went live for the first time, and not on a cell phone.
If you guessed c, congratulations, that was 2010, the birth year of the first generation iPad. On April 3, we’ll be celebrating its sixth birthday.
When I speak to audiences across the country and ask this question, I find a majority of folks believe the iPad is older than it really is. Did you?
I think it’s because we’ve developed what I call “pre-tech amnesia.” We just can’t remember what life was like before technology.
What’s really creepy about pre-tech amnesia is how willingly we have not only accepted—but also come to develop an intimate trust with—these devices.
Here are just 9 of the creepiest things we do with them:
1. We trust them with our bank accounts.
2. We share pictures of our kids on them.
3. We allow them to not only know, but often tell us, where we go.
4. When we go to bed at night it's often our last kiss.
5. When we wake up in the morning, we caress and spend time with it before anything or anyone else.
6. They babysit our kids.
7. They accompany us to the toilet.
8. We allow them to interrupt us when we’re with people we love. (We don’t even allow our children to do that.)
9. We have a panic attack when we can’t find them.
I’m convinced if we paid the same amount of emotional energy and attention to our spouse that we do our phones, we would eradicate divorce.
I use the pronoun “we” in each of these scenarios because I’m just like you. Though we have fairly strict limits in our home, the human tendency is to move toward the device, not away from it.
With the upcoming celebration of the iPad’s sixth birthday, these devices are still in their relative infancy. And yet, as a society, they own us.
This voracious appetite for such inanimate objects is no doubt influencing how our kids will—or will not—relate. Shallow lives lead to shallow relationships. That’s why the promise of the next generation is found in us, the parents who decide not to allow these devices to own them—or their kids.
If you’re a parent ready to jump on this bandwagon, join Christi and I in taking a 24-hour weekly fast from your devices. We begin at Saturday sundown and end at Sunday sundown.
Besides, anything you can’t fast from, owns you.
Don't be owned.
For more insightful ways to not be owned, sign up here for our FREE 14-day course How to Rescue Yourself, Your Spouse and Your Kids From the Screen.
For more practical and very fun ways to set limits on technology in your home, check out our full length workbook and video curriculum for parents: The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century.
Here's a snippet of what you receive:
- The Good, the Bad, and the Dangerous: Awesomely Helpful Apps and Ones to Watch Out For
- Screen Life Emotion Log
- Suggested Tech Limits for Parents
- E-Nuptial (electronic) Agreement for Married Couples
- Family Media Agreement
- Family Screen Schedule
- Moments that Matter: Family Activities to Engage in RealLife, Not ScreenLife
- Family Links: #Selfie Ways to Serve #Otheries
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and president and co-founder of the Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of the newly released Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well (Waterbrook Multnomah) and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century. He wakes up each day striving to love others better beginning with his wife, Christi, and their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.
For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century, you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.