In 2017, Let’s Have Less ‘FaceTime’ and More Face-to-Face Time

My husband has been getting on my nerves lately. Whenever I look at him, he seems to be looking at a screen — his computer, iPhone, iPad, tv… It’s not that I care so much about being ignored— it’s our children I’m concerned about. What kind of a message are they receiving from a father who is so absorbed in anything and everything other than them?

It’s 5:30 p.m. on January 2nd.
“Mom!” screams my sporty 10-year-old, Moshe.
“I need you to help me with my math homework!”
Oof! How annoying, my thumb was in the midst of racing through my e-mails. “One sec, honey!”
But in that one second, my thoughts are pulled back in the direction of my thumb.

“Mom!” he yells again. “I really need your help! I have a test in a few days!”
Oh, yeah. Must help Moshe. Wrenching myself from my cozy cushions and blankets, I rush downstairs to see what can be done for Moshe. Barely do I sit down when a buzzing sound demands my attention. Dad is WhatsApping me from Montreal. With fingers racing, a heated discussion erupts between us in the palm of my hand.

“Mom”, sighs Moshe, utterly exasperated. “You’re doing it again!”
“Doing what?”
“You’re sitting down next to me, but you’re far away…”

Ouch.

But then it (finally) hits me. I’m just as bad as my husband! We are walking screen addicts, concentrating on human being miles away, while the humans right in front of us are ignored. We, I, have become total clichés, addicted to technology.

It’s early January 2017.

Time for resolution-making, right?

What could be more obvious than a strict resolution to improve my interpersonal skills?

I’ve heard, in the name of the great Mussar movement leaders, that there is no such thing as failure— only failure to chart. The only way to make my new resolution work is to create a chart and meticulously record my triumphs and trials, much as I do on my Weight Watcher’s diet! For other Forward screen addicts seeking to create meaningful change this year, here is a copy of the chart I’ve designed.

2017, here I come! Here’s to less FaceTime and to more face to face time!

This story "In 2017, Let’s Have Less ‘FaceTime’ and More Face-to-Face Time" was written by Revital Belz.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

In 2017, Let’s Have Less ‘FaceTime’ and More Face-to-Face Time

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close