Now that summer is in full swing we’ve got lots of families staying and the vibe with families is way different than “couple” guests or friends traveling together.
A few times this week I’ve gone to welcome a family, and do the normal chit chat orientation. The parents pay attention to everything, the kids sit there on their phone and don’t look up. This is literally 20 seconds after entering the apartment for the first time, making a beeline for the wifi info, and right away going into phone zombie mode. I caught a glimpse of one young girls phone (she is maybe 13) and she was taking pictures or video and adding dog ears and tongue to her face. Weirdo.
I have a bit of a routine that I do with families to try and engage everyone where I assign each family member a role - so I’ll tell a kid they are in charge of getting everyone on the network, I’ll tell another kid they are in charge of making sure everyone knows how to lock/unlock the doors and I’ll joke that the parents are in charge of the money. It’s really just to break the ice and make sure everyone pays attention to me for at least 5 minutes.
Lately we’ve had a lot of teens, and seriously they cannot even lift their face up from the phone, and they look so mopey! I don’t have kids so I don’t have first hand experience with this, but is the phone making kids joyless?
We have a Finnish family staying at our front house (we live in the back house) has three boys and the teenager has not looked up once, even when we’ve all sat on the shared patio together having a chat. All I hear from his chair is Ping Ping Ping. The middle boy is about 10 and he’s adorable and is outside on the patio whenever he sees us, asking a million questions. The smallest boy still wants to play with his toys, which don’t yet include a phone. The teenager? forget it, he’s comatose. He only looks up when his parents scold him.
It must be so hard to have family vacations nowadays! I imagining the threat of “i’ll take your phone” would cause a meltdown…