Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Life

My iPhone Love Affair

As Nina Badzin has been trying to cure her addiction to her smartphone — a struggle she is poignantly and hilariously documenting for the Sisterhood — I have been falling more and more in love with mine.

Over half a year ago I gave birth to a baby boy. Taking care of him has been both exhausting and enthralling, and has allowed me to reacquaint myself with the magic and mystery of human existence. But it has also been quite isolating.

Life on baby island, as I came to refer my condition to friends and family, sure gets lonely. Our little ones’ coos, giggles and cries are certainly engaging and inspire that deep attachment known as a mother’s love. Still, this doesn’t mean they are a replacement for adult conversation.

During those early months, which are mostly endless cycles of feedings, naps, diaper changers and repeat, my smartphone was a portal to the outside world that I sorely missed. With my family across the country and my husband back-to-work a week after delivery, I was desperate for some grownup interaction. It turns out that the electronic sort suited me just fine.

Scrolling through the once unnerving buzz of Facebook and cyclone of Twitter became a much-appreciated, even soothing, way to see what was happening in civilian life that day. And if it wasn’t for the fact that smartphones require the availability of only a thumb and an index finger to read the newspaper, I could maintain a marginal grasp on what was going on in the world that day. At night, I could swipe my way through Madame Bovary as I waited for him to fall asleep.

Also, whenever my baby had a weird splotch on tush or would suddenly go from not really napping at all for a few days to seemingly non-stop sleeping, I could look it up without ever having to leave his side. I can’t tell you how many times I did Google searches on my phone that started with “is it normal for a baby to …?”

I am on the phone way less now that he is more aware of his surroundings and, well, more fun. But I would be remiss not to mention the great relief I still find in my little smart phone breaks. Yes, after 20 minutes of floor playtime, while he is wrestling with a stuffed animals or shaking a rattle, I might take 30 seconds or so to check my email, or Twitter or the Times. No parenting manual would ever condone this move. We are supposed to be constantly speaking, playing, nurturing, singing and whatever else to our babies, lest they not grow up to be athletic geniuses. But sometimes mama needs a little break, and a half a minute of smart-phoning is all I need to refresh and reboot.

I am writing all this not because I don’t think people are addicted to their smartphones. Boy oh boy, are they ever. I don’t think Nina is crazy at all for believing her smartphone habit is getting the best of her. Still, I want to make sure that we remember that they are not necessarily evil, just something that some people abuse. Because my baby blues, or very normal human response to feeling lonely as I think of it, were greatly relieved by that shiny little information box and I’d like to officially cross it off my list of things that I maybe should feel guilty about.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.