It's Time We Stop Expecting Parents To Engage With Their Kids 24/7

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

There’s another photo making its way around the internet today, of a set of parents daring to look at their phones in the vicinity of their children. It was posted to Facebook with the hashtag #modernparenting. It’s an image of two children nestled between their parents on the NYC subway. Both parents are on the phone:

Image via Facebook

Some of the reactions to the photo are extreme:

This is a big problem, put those stupid things down.
This angers me.
Baby zombie time?
Such a sad image.

For all we know, these parents are lovingly scrolling through all the images they snapped of their kids on their city outing. Or they’re organizing a babysitter. Or working. Or who fucking cares these people are adults and completely allowed to check their phones while bored on a subway.

When did we make the collective decision that parents need to be staring lovingly at their children all day or they’re horrible people? Seriously, when did this happen? There’s no outrage when a parent is reading a magazine. There’s no outrage when adults are having a conversation and ignoring the kids in their presence. Why so much hate over the cell phone use?

It’s more disturbing that a total stranger felt comfortable snapping a picture of a family, posting it to Facebook, and slapping judgey hashtag on the photo.

The collective shaming parents on phones get is hilarious, considering that everywhere you go, there is always someone looking down at their phone. It’s true we all have an attachment to our devices, but for some reason, an unparalleled outrage exists when the person holding the phone happens to be a mom.

There is an entire Tumblr account devoted to shaming parents who happen to be on the phone while in front of their kids. Parents On Phones exists solely for the purpose of posting anonymous photos of families and making a sanctimonious comment about their phone use. Here are a few gems from the page, whose tagline is Don’t tune out your kids when you turn on your phone:

The caption on this one says, “My daughter posing next to a mom who has no idea where her kid is.”

The caption next to this one says, “I love you dad.”

Images via Parents On Phones

The caption on this one says, “Don’t worry honey, I’ll watch the kid while you look at your phone.”

Pray tell, what is the person who runs this account doing with their kids while they’re busy uploading images of other parents to the internet and shaming them? Is it possible that they might be *gasp* using their phone to upload some of these?

We all could use a little time away from our phones. Parents aren’t any more guilty of technology addiction than anyone else.

Related post: Dear Mom Judging Me For My iPhone

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