Hi, I’m Beverly. I’m a long-time educator and I’ve seen a lot in my day. I’ve taught kids of all ages from preschool through college. And I never thought I would launch a business, write a book, or meet thousands of people all over the world on something called the Internet.
Enter 2020. I started my business, Smart Digital Kids, because in early 2020 the world was hit hard by a pandemic that immediately, and radically, changed the way children learned and parents worked. Interestingly, this change didn’t affect me much. Our kids were grown and out of the house, and I had left the field of education to work as a marketing coordinator for a small architecture firm. I easily adjusted to working from home.
But my heart was broken for my friends and family who were in the teaching field. I watched what was happening, deeply sorrowed, and felt paralyzed with no way to help.
Before the pandemic, and before working as a marketing coordinator, something wonderful happened.
I became a grandmother!
Both my daughter and son-in-law went back to work a few weeks after she was born. Since I had no job at the time, I offered to watch her during the day. I remember taking tons of photos, every day, capturing her cuteness.
A couple weeks into it, I realized I had a habit of feeding her, changing her diaper, laying her down on the play mat, and picking up my phone.
I looked at my phone a lot. A LOT. I was checking email, answering texts, I was reading articles, watching YouTube and whatever else I was used to doing when on my phone every day. I became more aware of this when my granddaughter turned 3 months old.
I noticed she started staring at me when I was looking at my phone.
If she was awake, and I was on my phone, I would catch her looking at me. It was then that I began to compare the feelings I had as a new mother to my feelings as a new grandmother. It felt different. But why?
Because my attention was divided.
I wanted to spend time doing my usual stuff on my phone and also watch her–at the same time. It was like, I loved my phone and was in the habit of spending hours each day reading, learning, laughing and relaxing. But I had a new job–an important job–that required a lot of my attention.
I tried to put down my phone right away whenever I saw her staring at me.
I would pick up a rattle and coo with her, and smile and talk to her. But I felt instant boredom after 5 minutes. I wanted to just glance at my phone for a quick check of notifications.
There’s only so many things you can do with infants when they’re small (I reasoned). Couldn’t I just sit close and shake a rattle in front of her while on my phone? But I felt weird every time I looked at my phone while she was looking at me. Every time.
After a week of feeling this way, I decided to stop. I decided to make a change. I was too attached to my phone and I knew it. I wanted to break that attachment. I wanted to put my granddaughter first. I said to myself, out loud, “I need to tame my tech.”
That’s the moment my life changed forever.