I got a sense of sad relief when I woke up this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee and opened my laptop to this interesting story in the New York Times.

I grew up with memories of my father peering at me from behind his daily newspaper, and it was one of those small things that I said I would try to do differently. Don’t use the newspaper as a barricade, and set it down when you talk to your kid.

Well, I’m not fan of Facebook and I don’t Tweet, but as an expatriate for the last 16 years, I’ve come to rely on the laptop for my connection back to the US. I check the news on it first thing in the morning and at night before I go to bed. Over the past few years, as my kids have grown, it pains me to report that I have indeed let the laptop become a barricade on more than one occasion. For many kids today, however, the glow of the cell phone or the laptop screen is irresistible as well. This article in the Miami Herald points to the health risks of too much screen time.

As it would happen, just as I am beginning to wise up to the negative impact technology can have on our family togetherness, my children are entering their own heavy phase of technology use. So far, it is mostly iPods and an hour of computer time on the weekend, but the daily emails are coming! Tweets and Walls and Texts, oh my.

I fear that I have relinquished the high ground in the coming arguments.