The Worst Picture Ever Taken of Me

I have always been a tech and gadget geek. I have had every new smart phone that has come out. I had the original blackberry. Remember the Palm Treo? I had it. Loved it. Loved the way I looked using it. I was busy and important. I had things to do and no one could catch up with me because I was already on top of it thanks to my trusty Blackberry, Palm Treo, Ipad, Iphone, Iphone 2, Iphone 5, Iphone 5s, Iphone 6+. It’s hard for me to admit openly that, as of this writing, I don’t have an Iphone 7.

The usage of my smart phone, currently Iphone 6+, did not diminish when I had children. It had a camera! I could document every moment of my children’s lives and share it with friends and family, half of whom live in Germany. It was great!

I thought that I was being a great father and that it was all thanks to the smart phone. I could be with my little ones and work at the same time. However, one evening after they were in bed, I began thumbing through pictures on my wife’s phone and saw some of the worst pictures I have ever seen of myself. This is one of them.

One day I was sitting at home using my phone. My son was sitting right there next to me and I was totally unaware of his presence. I don’t remember what I was using my phone for: email, Facebook, Wikipedia – all nice entertainment and possibly important, but not “life altering” important, certainly not as important as spending time with my son. I was horrified!

My son was sitting right there next to me and I was totally unaware of his presence

I remember, that around that time, my oldest daughter shouted out “no phone” when we sat down for breakfast on a Saturday morning. She didn’t say “no computers” or “no work.” She understood that sometimes daddy has to work. But she could not tolerate taking a back seat to a phone.

So here’s what I do now. I still look at my phone on the weekends. However, I check on business only in hourly increments. My text and email alerts are turned off. I set a timer on my phone for one hour. I put my phone down and will not check it until the timer goes off. Then I go through my texts, emails, check facebook, look something up if I need to. When I’m done, I set the timer again and put the phone down.

I’ll be honest, when I first started this, it was painful! It was very difficult and I felt as if I were going through withdrawal.

However, I’m happier, my wife is happier and my children are definitely happier!

Jason Spear Miller
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