Silence Epidemic

boy-110762_1280A “Silence Epidemic” has hit my house.

The house is silent. Everyone is home, but all I hear is silence.

The Nerds (my family) are lost in their various forms of electronic entertainment; one is playing an RPG on the computer, another is watching anime, and the other one is listening to music on the ipod while drawing.

I would like to say it’s because we’re stuck in the house due to the “Blizzard of 2016” that’s hitting the Mid-Atlantic coast right now. But, I’m sad to say, this is not an unusual occurrence…the silence, not the blizzard.

The irony is there was a time, years ago, when I would have given my right arm for some peace and quiet and time to myself. Now it seems that conversation is what I really want.

I’ve become the “out of touch mom” right now. I think back to when I was my kids’ ages and wonder how I interacted with my mom.

For my generation (GenX) there was a lot of TV watching, and I did spend hours in my room listening to my own music. I guess the difference today is that our kids spend just as much time ignoring us, it’s just that now they can do it in the same room. It just seems, well, rude. So here’s where I get it when my daughter says “you just don’t understand.” Is she actually right? Please don’t tell her.

Maybe it’s time for me to admit it. I just don’t understand.

I miss the actual communication; even if it was mom simply yelling through my bedroom door “turn that down!” or “Haven’t you seen that video a hundred times by now?” At least it was some form of verbal communication.

Maybe we need to implement at least one day a week where no one uses electronics. Oh, wait…that would apply to me too. Hmmm…maybe the silence isn’t so bad after all.

When did we lose our ability to carry on conversation? How do you deal with the “silence epidemic” in your house?

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8 thoughts on “Silence Epidemic

  1. Reluctantly and old iPhone 4 has become “my phone!” To my 2yr old and well when we need to clean, cook dinner, or get a tantrum to stop then technology and the silence that follows is what I get. Some days I regret it. He’s 2 and can work the phone camera and YouTube perfectly. But it’s inevitable.

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  2. My blog this week speaks of the 24/7 connected generation versus to my generation when children went outdoors to play and all day long. Even in the snow. It is unhealthy for any of us to be connected 24/7. Is there an actual need? No, I don’t think so. Parents and teachers should declare entire weekends or vacations of turning off all the devices. Take a walk. Play a family board game. Talk with one another. Step outside your box and comfort zone and see how great it actually feels. It is my hope that some of us will accept the challenge to turn off devices and to BE in the moment. Have we forgotten how to communicate face to face?

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    • I COMPLETELY agree with you. I’m grateful when my daughter actually wants to call a friend and talk on the phone! LOL Our school recently started a BYOT (Bring your own technology to school) program that I’m still not really happy about. We’ll see how it goes. Glad I’m not alone 😉 Thanks for the follow. I’ll check out your blog 🙂

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      • This BYOT or BYOD(device) is actually going to hinder the learning process. Unfair because not all students can afford a device. Are schools now going to teach them how to use their devices brought to school? There is already an over-emphasis on testing. After teaching for 48 years, I have determined that the technology thrown at schools will simply lower our standards in the world. Go back to teaching cursive handwriting like the students in Germany do and who exchanged pen pal letters with my students. When a student doesn’t know the word meaning, look it up in a hardbound/paperback dictionary and see all the related words nearby. Learn that skill. I still insisted on using the chalkboard even though a SmartBoard was installed over the top of one of the chalkboards. As a teacher, I took numerous professional development classes in technology and did not embrace much of it since I determined early on that only a fraction of my students had cell phones. There are young teachers who have NO personal cell phones, by choice. I didn’t get one until a few years ago and still have it off most of the time. The tactile part of actually writing down with pen/pencil and paper is so important in the learning process. Even college students know this. They learn better when having resorted to the “old-fashioned” method of writing. By and large, technology isolates us from personal interaction. I watch faces of people who are texting and walking, and focused on themselves and not their surroundings. I dare to say: put it away, learn to THINK again for yourself. Learn how to solve problems relying on your own resources i.e. brain and not some gadget. The online translations provided are still terrible and inaccurate. And learn to write and converse with others. Go back to simpler times and the basics and learn them well.

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  3. Lisa, I agree. It’s so hard to know how to manage devices. We’ve actually held off as long as possible before buying anything electronic for our boys. Our oldest turns thirteen next month, and he’s (kind of) saving for an iPod. He also has to show us he can handle the responsibility/freedom of having his own device. When he does have it, we plan to set up some boundaries on how/how long/when he uses it.

    Our boys still love to cuddle and talk (they’re 11 and 13). I know when they both have phones and other electronics, this will be harder to keep in place.

    We have family nights every weekend. We bought Risk for Christmas, and we’ve played a few games of this. We also have times of intentionally drawing our boys out, especially at the dinner table. It’s such a different generation than the one I grew up in.

    Great post today.

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    • Thanks. Good to know my 13 year old isn’t the only one without a phone. LOL She got a Kindle fire at Christmas and we’re doing the same thing…seeing how responsible she can be. So far, so good. I’ve noticed the more time they get with the electronics, the harder it becomes to get them interested in anything else. So boundaries and time limits are crucial. Best of luck with your boys! 🙂

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  4. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I am loving the West Coast! I love how you describe the Silence epidemic…There are people using Snapchat DURING my gym classes, and even asking others to film them as they squat, just so they can post it. I guess being GenX makes it harder for us to understand this new trend that is apparently here to stay!

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