Let’s face it, we all do it. We’re sitting with a friend or family member, and we half-listen to what they’re saying because we’re looking at our phone or other device. Unfortunately, this has become our “new normal.” We rely so much on technology that we sometimes start to “unplug” our real relationships. Phone calls replace visits, text messages replace phone calls… what’s next?
When my Dad was first diagnosed with mesothelioma, I didn’t even have a smart phone. To log on to social media, I had to sit down at a computer. This, in terms of technology, feels like it was such a simpler time. By the time Dad was in the hospital for the final time, I had just gotten my first iPad. I remember sitting in the hospital with him while he slept, using it to play a game. I was very in tune to the fact that Dad needed me, and that he needed me to be truly present with him, so I was actually quite good about putting my device down when he was awake. I knew it was important for both of us.
Please try to remember that people, not technology, need you. When someone you care about is with you, no matter their physical condition, do your best to unplug. Make real memories; they are what will be with you for the long haul. No amount of “likes” can take the place of having a real moment with your loved one. I would give up my phone, computer, everything… if I had the chance to make one more memory with my Dad.
Keep this in mind as you are moving forward. No amount of technology, no matter how life-like it may seem, can replace the company of your loved ones!