Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Unplug With Your Flock

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

Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.

  • I agree with you – too many people never give their entire attention to any one thing. I find it annoying and yet sad, too. Think of all they are missing. I know kids AND adults who don't know how to just sit and observe what's going on (or not going on) around them. And, they often complain of being bored. Honestly, I've rarely been bored in my entire life.

    You are not getting old, keep teaching your children to live in the moment. They will appreciate it when they are older.

  • You are so right. My kids complain about the same thing when we have gatherings to go to. They say no one wants to play. It's so sad. They're missing out on life and making memories. Great post.:)

  • I totally agree. What happened to learning how to sit be patient and present in the moment. I rarely let my five year old even play on my phone and the only hand held device she has is a really old ds of her sisters. She does know how to use my laptop and play games on there on occaison. I don't even let my older daughter who is 16 have a fb page or smart phone. Just a basic cell for calls and texting but no texting in the evenings during homework and no one is allowed a cell phone at the table ever except if my oldest (the nurse) is on call. So my kids would have been the same, there to play and talk and visit but bored with the rest of those kids. Good post.

    • Thanks Elaine! Sounds like we definitely think the same way for sure. Too bad our kids weren't together at that dinner. I'm sure they would have made some fun memories.

  • Hi Tilly, I must applaud you for bringing your children up in such a well-rounded manner. In this busy world it is all too easy to pawn children off with tablets and electronic devices. If I'm blessed with children (hopefully one day…) I hope I will be able to maintain the balance that you do. Best wishes… :-)

  • I'd throw a party…for the hang of it, and invite the same mob over. On. One. Condition. ALL electronic devices must be left at home!

  • diane c


  • Anonymous

    So well said! I witnessed the same thing recently! A whole room full of kids busy on their phones while sitting together. I don't allow my kids to do this either, actually my older two didn't get phones until they could drive! I guess I'm old too, but my mother taught me not to be rude, and frankly I think it's rude. I talk to my kids, they enjoy talking with me, we look each other in the eyes when we speak. They also have no problem talking to adults-children and sadly they are the exception. When people tell me how polite and kind my kids are I'm flattered, but sad. They shouldn't be the exception but the rule! One day when these children don't speak to their parents at all they will wonder why. So sad. Keep up the good work with your kids :-).

  • I wonder what the tipping point will be (and there will be one). We had a "no device" rule at our dinner table, but my kids are grown and off on their own. Maybe when they have kids, they'll reminisce about the good ol' days and institute similar rules of their own!

  • Wow – so true! I refuse to be tethered by my cell phone and don't keep it with me at all times. Some of my friends and my sister can't understand why I don't text conversations with them. I say: "let me hear your voice and the conversation is better, instead of doing all that #$%&@ texting"! It's scary – almost like the art of conversation is lost! And then, don't get me started on the kids! My youngest is in college right now and his smart phone is more important than anything else! He twitters, FB's, instagrams, and sometimes does research on his smart phone! I think he would go into withdrawals if he were to lose the darn thing! I can see there is hope with the next generation with your kids! Let them know that they are a shining example of how kids are supposed to be!