|Poor Fifi! My daughter takes Fifi for a walk!|
It’s amazing how fast technology is moving. In just a span of about twenty years, I have seen cell phones morph from large boxes to palm sized devices. It seems everyone is carrying cell phones even younger kids, which still baffles my mind. We are living in a digital age and, in my opinion a technological renaissance. There seems to be no end.
The other night, we were out at a party for a friend. There were grown-up tables and tables for the kiddos. Every kid except for mine was “plugged in” to some sort of device. From phones, to tablets, to I Touches, the kids were sucked into their electronic activities. I watched. They were totally unaware of their surroundings, let alone that their friends were sitting right beside them. Both my kids came over upset that their friends were “too busy” with their electronics. Deviceless, my kids were the only ones “at the party”. Sadly, it continued this way for the entire dinner. The other parents’ kids were occupied, quiet, and behaved while being entranced by their electronic babysitters. Why would their parents complain? Meanwhile at the parents table, not a cell phone was to be seen. We shared great food, laughs and made wonderful memories. Sadly, the only memory my kids will take from that evening was that they were bored and their friends were too busy to play and have fun.
In my heart, call me crazy, but I wonder if the art of interacting between one another and living in the real moment are going to be lost with my children’s generation? Will they forget how to focus on situations that are in front of them? Will there be constant electronic distractions? Will their minds be able to juggle all this input? Will they forget how to converse meaningfully with others or will a text message suffice? Maybe I’m getting old!
We have these devices in our home. I’m trying to teach the kids when their use is appropriate. It’s not easy but it is my responsibility to them. One of my favorite ways of unplugging is connecting with nature. We leave our devices behind. We are busy outdoors. We garden together, take long hikes in the woods, collect treasures from nature, craft, and spend time with the flock. Electronics, texts and phone calls can wait.
When we are sitting with the chickens, we take deep breaths, clear our minds, and talk about our days. We talk about our dreams, worries, fears, and what the future might hold. We plan for vacations and just relax. All the while, the chickens happily sit in our laps, wander around the yard, and eat scratch from our hands. Unplugging with the chickens is a wonderful reminder of what is truly important in our lives- family, taking care of one another, friendship, love, bonding with one another, spending time together, protection, food and shelter, fun and even the importance of bathing.
These devices will always be there. These moments that involve their friends, family times, childhood and everything on life’s journey are not always guaranteed. Like our chickens, we are trying to live the real life moments right in front of our eyes. If we didn’t, we might miss something incredibly special, that could only be realized when we were unplugged.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest