Living Motherhood

What is Our Obsession About ‘Instant Everything’ Doing to Our Kids?

What is Our Obsession About Instant Everything Doing to Our Kids? www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Shelby Spear

Does technology ever drive you mad? Make you want to chuck your laptop or phone across the room? Or is it just me who allows such trivial things to get under my aging skin?

This morning happens to be a crapstorm of techno schmecno tyranny in my little world. The iPad continues to think-spin into oblivion, Google is choosing to take a millennium to open on my laptop, and my iPhone—which is right next to me—doesn’t ring, yet sends me loud notifications about voicemails.

In 30 minutes flat, I’ve managed to make a Himalaya of irritation out of a mole hill of minor setbacks. Which included me shouting several ladylike barbs from the mountain top. The reverb in my living room only multiplies the negative mojo. Thank you, lady hormones and technology.

But isn’t it incredible how reliant we’ve become on such a convenience? Our expectations for speed, reliability, instantaneous results are outrageous when you think about all things electronic revolution. Right now is the new at some point.

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How does this mindset translate into family life? Are we carrying over our insatiable need for immediacy into the way we parent and/or how we manage the household? How about at work or in our relationships with others?

What about the way we handle repeated red traffic lights or long shopping lines? How about endless hold times listening to Muzak during a phone call to “customer service”?

Don’t even get me started on buffering during video streaming or television delays in general. My hubby was literally shaming the TV remote the other night, “This stupid remote. It takes FOREVER to work. I have to push the buttons a hundred times to get the channel changed!”

Batteries.

That’s all the gizmo needed.

Goodness and patience forbid. But, oh how I love my man, a lack of patience notwithstanding.

How cool would it be to have a television with an on/off switch you have to press with your finger and a radial dial to change stations—all ten of them? Remember those? We even had to walk across the room uphill both ways to operate the thing and we survived.

The magic word in all of this is patience. Is it a thing anymore? Has instant everything, even beyond technology, stripped us down of all ability to simply be in the moment? You know, like live—without stressing out about time?

Do you think, perchance, we are projecting the biggest double standard in the history of the world? Think about this: we cry and moan to anyone who will listen about how fast time goes by, yet in the same breath we curse time for not moving fast enough.

My gosh . . . we are insane.

Where do our kids fall into this madness?

Kids love life. In general, they find contentment in some form regardless of what is going on around them. The simple things bring them joy and every environment piques their curiosity. Time doesn’t exist in their world. Having fun drives their spirit.

To prove this theory, my sister-in-law endured a nine-hour flight delay in an airport with five children under eight-years-old. By herself. Guess what? The kids had fun. Wait, what? Why weren’t they peeved at the world, the airline, the person next to them just because? Why weren’t they flustered and frazzled and miserable? Oh, that’s right. Because they’re kids! Life somehow still marches on with a kick of joyful karma in Kidville, even at a snail’s pace.

So, aren’t we corrupting their tiny nirvana when we impose our negative perception of time with the heaviness of our impatience and incessant griping about people  moving too slow (sometimes them in particular), “things” not working fast enough, circumstances taking forever?

Tough questions. I’ll be the first to say, guilty as charged. Some days better than others.

How do we flip the script?

Mindfulness of what matters most. Which includes daily reminders to our self that speed kills. Both the physical self in car crashes and the emotional self with impatience.

Let’s tarry on, friends. At whatever pace life throws our way. And become more like children once again.

About the author

Shelby Spear

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-four years. She is working on her first book and you can read her open heart of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at https://shelbyspear.com/