Gayle Cheatham is a certified life coach, author, wife and mother of two.
Originally from South Africa, she moved to Texas in the late 1990’s.
Gayle was a newlywed in the corporate workforce and first-time mother during the time when email, social media and smartphones were becoming widespread among her peers and younger generation. Over the years she noticed colleagues were interacting more and more over email, losing personal interaction and comradery. She felt the loneliness in her own marriage as she and her husband turned to artificial forms of connection and entertainment to decompress.
Most recently she has been keenly aware of the difficulty and potential negative impacts that technology can bring to the younger generation through watching her own two children learn to navigate the beginnings of adolescence with technology. This topic is important from birth to death, but perhaps most during the adolescent phase of development as it sets the foundation for our overall physical, emotional, cognitive and psychosocial health in adulthood.
It feels as if the odds are stacked against us.
We are the first generation of parents to raise children in smart homes, where smartphones, tablets and other devices are commonplace. We have no parenting tools from our childhood, our children typically know more than we do about the latest technology and advertising, peer pressure and continual advances make it feel almost hopeless to try!
But we must persist for the sake of humanity.
Or the connectedness we feel by making eye contact with a stranger, smiling at a neighbor across the street, the art of conversation at a dinner table, seeing your mother’s eyes light up as you enter the room, butterflies in our stomach as we hold hands with a crush for the first time, the spiritual connection to ourselves and the world when walking in nature, and the peace that comes from sitting quietly alone.