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Crib note: Are parents on phones a problem?

July 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM ET

parentsonphones.tumblr.com /
A new Tumblr mocks parents for being on their phones... because heaven forbid we take our attention away from the little darlings for one second.

Just what we needed: one more thing to add to the list of ways you can be considered a bad parent. The tumblog Parents on Phones is a site dedicated to capturing "the culture of mobile phones and parental neglect." As Slate reported, this site asks readers to send in pictures of parents ignoring their wee, adorable offspring for the lure of the smartphone. Parents at parks, children's museums and even backyard picnics are shown tending to their phones rather than their tots.

Have we really become a generation of parents ignoring our kids for the temptress that is Twitter? Or, with sites like this, are we judging people based on a mere snapshot (literally) of their day?

After all, these are parents who have bothered to take their kids to the park or the children's museum;  how much neglect can really be happening? And we don't know what those parents are doing on the phone. Maybe they just got an email that a loved one is in the hospital. Maybe they're on Facebook inviting friends to join them at the park. Of course, if they're on Facebook gushing about their offspring, they face a double whammy: They could wind up on Parents on Phones for neglecting their kids AND on STFU Parents for being one of those over-sharers.

Yes, we love our kids, but do we need to have our eyes fixed on them with an adoring gaze every second of every day? Watch out, because if you do that, you'll get judged, too. Not for ignoring them, but for being a helicopter parent. TODAY Moms recently talked about a New Yorker article that said, “With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world.” So, which is it? Are we callously ignoring our children for our phones or are we heaping attention on our pampered and indulged offspring?

Do you think we need to put the phones away, or is this just another easy way to mock parents?

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two young kids.

More stories from TODAY Moms, suitable for reading on your phone at the playground:

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The mom-judging Olympics: A competition no one meant to enter

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