Are parents in charge of their iPhones or are iPhones in charge of us?


A recent study by Retrevo will lead you to think so. According to the study, 11% of the parents said they’d given up other activities they use to love to spend time of Facebook and Twitter. 19% of iPhone parents said they couldn’t stop checking Facebook or Twitter if they wanted. And if you own an iPhone you’re checking your phone very often because otherwise it makes you nervous or anxious. I found this very disturbing.

Almost simultaneously, I stumbled on a program on CNN about “crackberry addiction” and how all of this multi-tasking is quite possibly affecting our brains and ability to think. Making our brains jump from on thing to another effectively leads to re-wiring our brains. At one point they shared a clip with a white team and a black team passing a basketball and the viewers were asked to count how many times the basketball was passed by the white team. I was able to get the correct answer, but totally missed a black witch that walked out into the middle of the court.

Our phones are great for being connected, but are we letting our phones ruling our lives?

Compared with the general parent population, the study found:

• iPhone parents are more likely to social on Facebook

• 13% of iPhone parents had 500+ friends

• By the time their kids are teenagers, 47% of parents reported using Facebook to check on their kid’s friends

• 34% admitted using Facebook to check on the parents of friends as well

• 12% of parents used Facebook to check on their kid’s dates

• More Dads check up on the kid’s dates than Moms (13% vs 10%)

So I tried an experiment yesterday and barely checked mine. I went to the gym. I bought groceries. I went to a movie. I read a book. I did some shopping. I even walked the dog without it even in my pocket. And at the end of the day, I felt like I accomplished a lot. Sure I checked it maybe 6 times. I couldn’t go cold turkey. And I didn’t feel anxious or nervous at the end of it. Whew! There’s hope for me yet.

We know from other studies that Moms rarely leave home without their phones and smartphone penetration among Moms is growing every day. Are we capable of finding balance with a tool that is so valuable to helping us parent at this point? Whose in charge in your household…you or your smartphone?

One Response to “Are parents in charge of their iPhones or are iPhones in charge of us?”

  1. You bring up good points. I do feel sometimes that I have to check my social media sites or else I will get behind and it has gotten in the way of doing other things. Thanks for the reality check.

    Bicultural Mama

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