I once wrote an article about how we are all addicted to screens. Television, computer, phone, all of that.
But it's not just us, it's the youth as well. I see people giving their kids a phone at a lot of different social gatherings. Whether it's at a restaurant, a sporting event, or a family get together.
I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea what I would do without the internet and all of the content I consume on a daily basis. But I also want my kids to be better off than I am. To be more aware of the choices they make when it comes to screen time and the consumption of a mass amount of information, content, and gaming.
I spend more time on Instagram than I probably should. Creating content for my multiple hats I wear, but mostly for checking out the latest and greatest memes.
My son however, literally is never allowed to use the phone. And even if he was, he never asks for it. Probably because we have never used it as a crutch for his mental breakdowns or emotional roller coasters that all kids go through.
He doesn't have an iPad. We don't own any gaming systems. Since we went on semi-quarantine, he has been allowed to play ABC Mouse on my wife's iPad for 45 minutes a day.
Even with that, I feel bad about letting him play. I feel like I could be spending that time teaching him in other ways.
But we teach him a lot, and he spends most of his time playing with his toys or outside and using his incredible imagination.
Remember how it was when we were kids? The most we got to do was watch television for a bit. But we didn't have DVR or streaming or YouTube, so if our parents wanted to watch something on TV then it was too fucking bad for us.
But we didn't care. We went to our rooms and played with our toys and did whatever kids are supposed to do.
If we went out to a restaurant and we were acting up, we didn't get to play some game or watch a video or whatever else. We either started acting right or we weren't going to be able to eat. Simple.
On car rides, we brought activities to do in the car. We might've had a CD player or an iPod, but that was about it.
Now listen, not all of us turned out great. There's a lot of dumb fucks out there and it has nothing to do with the fact that they did or didn't have technology growing up. It's about how they were raised.
I don't ever want to create an outlet for my children that will give them some kind of instant gratification. I won't be able to keep them from screens forever, but I can do my best to make sure that they only use it in moderation.
Technology is forever growing, and it's inevitable. But as I said, it's all about how you raise your kids. Showing them what's important.
Not taking advantage of the world they have around them. The people that they spend their time with should be seen as much more important than whatever is going on in the virtual world.
This is not only a lesson for our future, but for ourselves as well. I find myself getting sucked into the rabbit holes of the internet, and then snapping out of it and throwing my phone across the room so that I won't look at it.
If I can get my kids to be better than me, then I'll feel like I accomplished something in the short time we all have on this earth.
And I swear if I ever catch my kids making a damn Tik Tok, I'll Tik Tok them on the fucking head with the chancla.