Janis, I share that concern. I’ve always been thankful that when we had our children, no one had easy access to cell phones as they do today, and smartphones hadn’t been invented yet. I think they make parenting harder than ever because children also get addicted to them at early ages if parents don’t realize the harm they can do. Back then we had early PCs. Ours stayed in the family room, even though we weren’t connected to the early internet. I used it for word processing and Jason sometimes played educational games on it. Sarah never got near it.
I think those who had smartphones during their high school and college years and who also use them in their work find it hard to put them down or turn them off during family times. But the land lines I grew up with can also keep one on the phone for and take time from the children. Most my age can remember at least one occasion when a child stood before us making faces and gestures designed to get our attention when we were on the phone.