There are stories that need to be told because they are great stories.Â The Blackberry orphans storyÂ is one of them.Â This is the Wall Street Journal article that depicts kids whose parents are so addicted to their Blackberry and email that the kids are essentially orphaned.Â Great story: innocent kids, parents who just can’t help themselves, technology run amok.
Well, I am a Blackberry Dad (actually, I use a Treo, but let’s stick with the Blackberry theme).Â And I confess to doing some of those things mentioned in the article.Â I sneak many peeks on my Blackberry, sometimes at inappropriate times.Â I like to stay in touch and not fall behind.
But technology has made me a better dad.Â Â Here is what I know: I am a hard worker and very focused on work.Â My dad was this way; I am this way.Â Earlier in my career, it made for tough going with friends and girlfriends.
But the Blackberry and its tech cousins have made it possible for me to work when and where I want.Â I work hard, but I am able to work the hours I want to work in the location where I want to work.
So I wake up late, work hard during the day, grab my 6-year-old son in the late afternoon and we spend a lot of time together.Â We have a great time: we play spies, we cook dinner, we go shopping, we design all sorts of stuff, we have a family meal, we do some math and reading.Â When he goes to bed, I read him a story and we talk for a few minutes.Â We talk about the day and that’s when we talk about the “why’s” (why it is important to treat everyone well; why bullies bully; why being afraid to lose means you may not get the chance to win).
After he is tucked in, I spent an hour or two with my wife and a little relaxing.Â Then I work late into the night (don’t ask how late IÂ go)Â on my next big thing.Â Before the Blackberry, I would be putting in my long days at the office, since that is the only place where work can be done.Â Â I would probably run through the door hoping that he was still awake.Â Â It would have been Cat’s in the Cradle for me.
[By the way, I know I am lucky to be able to do this.Â Technology has not given everyone this choice.]
And while only time will tell the ending of this story, I am thankful, truly thankful, that technology has allowed me to try to be the kind of dad that I wish to be.Â