Technology has made a lot of things easier. But lets just take a moment to appreciate what it does for parents that share custody with someone that drives them crazy. Text messages and email have made strained relationships everywhere easier to deal with. Can you imagine how much more annoying your ex would be if you had to listen to their stupid voice every time you worked out the details of co-parenting? I only wish my parents would have had this technology at their disposal. I’m sure it would have spared me some issues.
Some of you might have great relationships with your exes, and that is fantastic. It is better all around, for everyone involved. But to those of you that don’t, sharing custody in the digital age is a lot less annoying than it used to be. The carefully worded email comes off as a lot more amicable when the tone of your voice isn’t heard. Children everywhere are saved from tense in-person negotiations complete with finger-waving and voice-raising. I come from a Greek and Italian family. Trust me when I say that parents don’t always communicate in the most mature, effective ways.
Erin McGillivray and her fiance broke up before they could marry. But not before they created a child together. For those with children, the necessity to stay in someone’s life is real – and can be very taxing. She told the New York Times, “When it comes to child arrangements,” she said, “we typically communicate via e-mail. Schedules, drop-offs, pickups, sick-day care: it’s all done electronically. Neither of us wants to argue in front of our daughter, but as much as we would want to avoid it, it would happen.”
Of course it happens. It’s human nature. Many of children of divorce that grew up before all of these technological advances were privy to a lot of inappropriate arguments. My father avoided my mother, and by default he avoided me. He wasn’t very good with communication or conflict – so he stayed away. Maybe some digital communication would have saved our relationship, too.
Parents are often required to buy a cellphone for their child, and call times are recorded to ensure an adequate amount of time. “That way, Mom can’t say, ‘O.K., you can talk to Daddy for two minutes, but that’s it,’ ” Mr. Kelly said. And with a parent calling children directly on their phone, there’s no possibility of a bitter intermediary exchange between parent and parent.
I know that people can be rude over email just as easy as in person. Emails can go unanswered, just like calls can be ignored. But you have to admit that it is easier to log into and email account and send a message than it is to talk to someone – in person. Sharing custody is never easy. But can you imagine doing it without texts and emails?