The XX Factor

It’s 8 a.m. Do You Know Where Your Children’s Laptops Are?

I am not a first-thing-in-the-morning person. The minutes-OK, sometimes hours-between the moment my alarm clock goes off and the time my feet hit the floor are among the most unbearable of my day. Back when I clocked in at an office, the thought of having to shamefacedly skulk past my boss’s door was usually enough to propel me out bed. But now that I’m a freelancer who sets her own schedule, what’s to keep me from hitting the snooze button till 11 a.m.? My iPhone, that’s what.

The New York Times reports today on how early morning rituals are being changed by technology , describing parents who crack open laptops at the breakfast table and kids who start texting friends before bothering to wipe away their eye crusties. Analysts explain how online and wireless traffic patterns are spiking in the hours between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

I’m the first to admit I have a bad case of Internet creep: My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me if I keep whipping out my iPhone to look up random facts about celebrities when we’re out to dinner. But in the morning, checking my Twitter and Facebook feeds or reading an article or two from the Times helps jog my brain just enough to face my day. And on any given morning, at least three of my friends have already posted updates about how cranky they are about having had to get up, which always makes me feel better: Morning misery loves company.

Are you a morning texter/tweeter/e-mail checker? Does the habit fill you with shame and your family with rage? Or is it a necessary beacon in the morning fog?

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