Brandie Wood was watching her 2-year-old twin boys, Rylie and Blaine, play when she decided to conduct a social experiment. Without telling them what she was doing, Wood kept track of the number of times they looked at her. She explains, “As I sat quietly in the corner of the room I tallied how many times they looked at me for various reasons: to see if I saw their cool tricks, to seek approval or disapproval for what they were doing, and to watch my reactions.” In the end, the mom of two counted 28 looks, which caused her to wonder: What would have happened if she’d been on her phone the entire time?
“28 times my angels would have wondered if the World Wide Web was more important than them,” Wood states. “28 times my boys would have not received the attention most adults are searching for. 28 times my loves would have questioned if they were alone emotionally. 28 times my kids would have been reassured that who you are online is what really matters.” She then thought about how many depend on the number of online followers, likes, and favorites they receive for validation. Worrying about such virtual happenings can often replace the meaningful quality time we spend with our loved ones.
Once her Facebook post about the experiment went viral, Wood told The Huffington Post, “I think technology should be limited, a healthy balance. Technology is a double-edged sword. It helps and hinders. Everyone should find what works for them. Just being aware will help tremendously. I am guilty of being connected to my phone as well. This experience has completely humbled me to be more present.”
All photos via Brandie Wood.