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  • Kristan Higgins

The Evils of Phones, the Loveliness of Lilacs

Updated: May 3, 2022


McIrish and I were in Provincetown this weekend. It’s a new tradition—go to Cape Cod the weekend the lilacs are blooming. Ride bikes. Window shop. Sniff the salt air like a Labrador retriever. Hold hands. Wander aimlessly. McIrish goes swimming, though the temperature is maybe 50 degrees.

One of the things we don’t do is check our phones. Oh, we have them, of course. We’re parents. We want to check in with our kids once a day.

But after seeing so many people hunched over their phones in a beautiful setting, ignoring the people around them, I came up with some Miss Manners-style rules for phone usage.

No phones at the table. You’re eating. You’re with people. The only exception is if you’re eating alone and reading on your phone. Reading a book, preferably.

No phones while walking. It was with deep satisfaction that I witnessed a young man walk into a signpost because he was texting. This is Darwinism. He had the grace to admit he was an idiot when he saw me smiling.

baby with phone

No phones while pushing your baby in the stroller. I say this as a mommy of elderly children who no longer wish to be pushed in a stroller. Those are such precious times, parents! Point out the birdies and the flowers and the sky to your little ones! Sing the Notre Dame fight song or the national anthem. Don’t be texting or tweeting. Don’t make your sweet child feel secondary to your phone.

No phones as pacifiers. Your little one is fussy. Surely you can do better than pass him your phone so he can kill angry birds or whatever. Please. If you don’t want to soothe the baby, pass him to me.

Okay, I’m climbing off the soapbox now. Got any additions, folks?


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