My youngest is 11, Tik Tok and FaceTime with friends.
With a median of 14, SnapChat with his current girlfriend.
And my oldest is 18 with Tinder, so, God only knows.
What I do know is that my children’s reliance on their cell phones has become pathological.
They all walk around the house with permanently fused smartphones in their hands, like a kind of digital compass without which they would surely be lost.
They go in and out of the bathroom, stare at the screen, come to dinner staring at the screen, and drop the screen because they can’t feed themselves using the screen – though I’m sure Apple can come up with a solution to this problem. he is.
God knows what the screen time weekly report notifications would have read if they hadn’t disabled it a long time ago.
However, one house rule I managed to enforce was that their phones were not allowed in their rooms during the night, and a bedtime phone pardon was in effect;
Now, I have to admit, I occasionally “forget” to charge one of the phones so that at least one of them is ready for breakfast the next morning and I can hear something about their upcoming days. , in favor of the latest YouTube video, rather than being completely ignored.
I never forgot to charge the same phone twice in a week and so no one understood my secret tactics, but it encouraged me to take my deception to new levels.
Any phone left unprotected would be quickly smuggled and taken to an undisclosed location, but would mysteriously reappear when I thought its owner had been engaged in the real world for enough time.
Then it happened one night in February. A big storm hit our rural village and the electricity went out.
“Father!” They screamed together, unaware of the sudden lack of light and heat, and only worried about the sudden lack of Wi-Fi.
“It’s okay, I’ll reboot the router,” said my eldest, unaware that the router was not getting power before it could reboot, and living in a 4G black hole began to realize what they were up against. the hell of being offline and away from their phone for an indefinite period of time.
This was followed by a period of peace without the irresistible charm of the glowing brick, we all sat down for a dinner, then Pictionary, then a movie, then a real conversation about the movie, until we got better at sharing the night. family experience.
I cursed once the efficiency of our local electricity supplier who turned the power back on the next morning and the phones were back.
However, I soon realized that I could make power cuts at any time by pressing the shutdown button on the consumer board, and so I tried a few weeks later to see what the reaction might be.
“Won’t there be another power outage?”
But the moans were short-lived, and we were still really enjoying each other’s company, without interruption by the parasitic phone.
My wife thinks I am crazy and keeps telling me that I am powerless to stop the invading effect of the smartphone on family life and that it is like stopping the tide with a broom. I know you’re right, and soon they will mind my fake power outages, just as they advised me to charge their phones and not hide them.
I probably need to realize that my own behavior has also become a bit obsessive, especially since I heard news that a 4G mast was being planned to serve the village and my first thought was of angry appeal letters, placards and banners to my local MP. other uncharacteristic behavior.
I also understand that if the pole is erected, the game is definitely over and I must find another way to communicate with the children. I think I can always FaceTime them.
Read last week’s column: ‘My obsession with having a daughter makes me a lousy mother’