Comments about ‘Dear mom on the iPhone: Let me tell you what you donít see’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 12:00 p.m. MST

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West Jordan, UT


City, Ut

So sad. So true.
Why are we so incredibly bored--that we think we NEED our phones--when we shouldn't be bored? When we should be enjoying life?
I hate this fact about myself.

Atlanta, GA

Started reading this thinking it was going to be something dumb. Not so. Very profound message. Thanks for sharing.

Boise, ID

For 6000 years, people did just fine without the ubiquitous phone. Now there's a significant percentage of our society who can't live without it! At work, at play, driving, resting, worshiping... or going through those motions while devoting attention to that itty-bitty screen.

All the "smart phone zombies" lurching about... makes me wonder how THEIR kids will behave.

bald man running

While I understand the sentiment, it seems a little melodramatic...

Pleasant Grove, UT

I'm a fairly tech-savvy guy who teaches online classes for a living, and I just received my first iPhone for Christmas, this December. And...I don't get it. What's the big deal? Yeah, my phone has some cool features, but what is so arresting about it to so many people? My wife and kids are astonished when I tell them that my battery lasts for an entire week, because I rarely have the thing on for more than a minute or two. But with that said, I have to agree with bald guy (I suspect he may be my father-in-law) that the article is a tad over-the-top. Ten years ago, this "neglectful" mom would've been just as absorbed in a book, which would likely have been interpreted as somehow more virtuous than a phone. It's not. She's doing a good job, and not everyone can be enraptured by their children every moment of the day.

kcs studio
Salt Lake City, UT

As a Mom, I get it. I get what Tonya is saying here, and I know time is fleeting. They grow up so fast, they do. And being there for your kids is a huge priority ....

But, holy, holy .... enough with the guilt trip, lady. I mean, sure the Mom with the iphone might be goofing off with her friends, or looking for a new blouse, but she could also be researching nursing homes for her mother in another state, or trying to see what cancer drugs work on the diagnosis her brother just got .... the author has NO IDEA what the other Mom is doing other than what she sees and HOW SHE IS JUDGING HER.

Maybe Tonya should quit being so hard on HERSELF, so she can quit being so hard on the women around her who are doing their best being the Moms that they are just .... being.

Really, the guilt trips are so unhelpful. Relax, please. And enjoy the fact that you have a job (writing in your blog) that means something to you, and try to find something else to do with your critic -- maybe she can twirl in her dress.

Gilbert, AZ

So glad I got to read this at my son's basketball practice on my iPhone. Made sure I didn't miss a thing.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

When our children were young, we only had a home 'phone, with a cord. I remember how annoyed my children would become when I was on the 'phone for an extended time. Often they were justified in this because all too often the conversation wasn't anything that needed to be so long. However, I am glad that when we were in the car, there was no 'phone, and when we were at the park, there was no phone. I agree with the sentiments in the article. Sure, it could have been somethine important, but most calls shouldn't take long, and children do get the message that they are being ignored. We have a lot of children in our midst who lack confidence, feel forgotten and need more assurance that they are cherished.

South Jordan, UT

I liked this. It applies with equal force to dads. Good article.

West Jordan, Utah

I found this a great reminder to spend more time with the kids. You know like right now as I read and post away the night.


As a mother of 5 young children, I know that there are many moments I'd just assume NOT be a part of: fighting, complaining, screaming, incessant questions and even some of the good moments where I am simply on kid overload. Not every moment needs clapping and admiring. As a matter of fact, a think its good for them to learn occasionally that their mom has and enjoys a life outside of them and that waiting patiently for their mom to finish something before they ask a question or need something is important. The thing that bothered me most about this article though was that moms are hard, and sometimes brutal on other mothers. You contributed to this. I could similarly unjustly assume that you were missing your daughter twirl as you were writing this article. The point is, you don't know why another mother is on her phone, and perhaps it is more important than watching her child's every move on the jungle gym. Maybe it's not, and she either is in need of a break or just needs to be free from judgement from the other mothers at the park that day.

Cache county, USA

Quality article from a decent paper.

B ob
Richmond, CA

When the kids are older and have more to show than a twirl or a trick - they'll have stopped calling her name long before. And that is a dangerous thing.

Apo, AE

When I worked in the Vegas casinos in the late 90s, I could always tell who the, ahem, escorts were because they were the people with phones to their ears. Eventually I learned they weren't talking to anyone. They were pretending. Seriously. It was like they were hiding from themselves. I came to the conclusion then that cell phones are adult pacifiers. Now we have smart phones and the pacifier label has never been more true. To be honest, the same could be said of the internet and web surfing.

People like to entertain their lives away. Many think they need the latest iDevice. What they really want is a way to waste time and end up missing precious moments. Cellphones, while great for "emergencies", aren't really necessary. They actually promote worse communication. How often have you called your spouse because you forgot what to get at the store? Try communicating better rather than using the crutch that is the cellphone. Make a list, look at people in the eye when you're talking to them. You'll find you don't need a cellphone.


I love this article.

Back in the early 60's when I was young and wanting mom's attention, I noticed that sometimes she was having successive hour long conversations with phone friends who were less cognizant of her responsibilities towards her young children than they should be. I only thought it was the phone friend who was stealing mothers time. My young mind did not think that mom was derelict.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

I like the thought here which is to spend more of our time with our children focused on our children. Leaving the message at that is quite healthy. Other issues regarding other habits that detract from focusing on our children, gender equity in the message, not judging others, etc... also have validity but they don't have to detract from me thinking about the main issue in my own life.

City, Ut

kes studio and SFly both swerved into a lane in these comments that I had never noticed anywhere until I came to Utah.
In LDS classes, anytime there was a subject mentioned where people could see maybe they needed to do some self introspection and examine their actions, feelings, motives etc etc there are always some (women always) who go the kes studio and SFly route--complaining about how others shouldn't be JUDGING.
After hearing this 'they shouldn't JUDGE' theme several different times, once the instructor pointed out gently this is a deflective move, to try to deflect the focus from those who are feeling a little guilty -- and how they then are trying to make it all about those awful people who JUDGE.
I guess I felt "judged" by some of what the author in this article wrote too, but could SO SEE the shoe fit.
I have thought of it a lot and have done better since reading it yesterday.
Thanks to the author- and to DesNews for printing it.

American Fork, UT

The kids will be OK if they learn mom isn't an inexhaustible resource. And they'll be better off figuring out how to be independent sometimes.

Gilbert, AZ

Bravo! Well said!

I am keenly aware of the stupefying lure of my combined electronics (iPhone, iPad, laptop etc), yet despite my wariness I still find I'm being sucked further and further into that black hole of zombie-like attachment. The frightening thing is I'm old enough that most of my life was spent in those quieter days of only 4 TV channels, reading and turning pages of real books, and having real conversations with family and friends. I remember what it was like to live totally and completely electronically free which helps to pull me back to that real life. But what about this generation that was never exposed to that electronics-free world around them? What new phobias, manias, disorders and disfunctions will result? I shudder the thought! Thanks for the well-written wake up call.

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