About Parent Technophobe

Hey, I’m Rick.

For about ten years I worked as a technology journalist (CNet, TechInAsia, CNN, The Japan Times), researching and writing stories about the latest smartphone, the best new app, software or service. I embraced everything digital, and encouraged those around me to do the same. 

After I had kids (two daughters, six and one), and I started to see technology a little differently. When scrolling through my social feeds on my phone, not only was I not spending time with my kids, but I was setting the bar for what their relationship with technology would be. Through that lens, I knew that my own relationship with technology wasn't very healthy, and if I continued, they'd probably follow my example.

Of course we all see the news reports about the dangers of too much screen time, and for the most part they're right. Even as someone who has researched and written about this stuff, I'm constantly pulled into my phone by red-circle notifications and high-pitched dings. My reworked strategy these days is to keep all activity off my phone unless it can't be avoided. A few examples would be:

  • keeping my daily to-do list in pen-and-paper form (via my side project at twentyweeks.com)

  • reading on an old Kindle

  • watching media as a family on a TV (usually Apple TV) rather than us all doing our own thing on smaller screens

  • taking pictures with cameras (often film cameras)

  • playing games on a console (the Nintendo Classic is a favorite in our house)

In some cases, a smartphone might be the better tool (when taking pictures for example), but I'm trying to build a strategy here and so far I think it's working out. 

More to come later.

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A former tech journalist struggles to find a healthier relationship with technology, with the kids in mind.


R. Martin

Former tech writer, turned marketer; trying my best to be a thoughtful parent.