Out of every generation of parents, some key rhetoric is born. It’s the one thing that pretentious parents complain about, demonizing some aspect of the world in “defense” of the generation they’re raising. It’s the popular helicopter parenting cause, for which mothers everywhere are falling on their swords. And suburban moms are the worst.
Our generation, of course, is no different. We love to complain about how our kids are glued to their electronics. If you are to believe this rhetoric, our children are holed up in dark closets with a phone, a tablet and a computer complete with dilated eyes, addicted to the blue light. They sit in the corner like zombies, ready to attack and eat your brains if you get close to them or attempt to pull the electronic device from their hands
And so to combat this “problem” and to make sure all the other parents you know see that you’re clearly superior, your pet cause becomes “screen time.” Really guys, it hurt me to even type that phrase because it’s such complete horse shit. If I hear one more parent claim to be limiting “screen time” because it’s detrimental to their kid’s development, I’m going to vomit. You know what’s also detrimental to their development? Them being an asshole.
Let’s give kids a little credit. I don’t know about anyone else but my kid would choose to be outside with dirt on her legs, peddling around the neighborhood on her mountain bike any day over doing absolutely anything with electronics. In fact, I can’t keep her in the house when there’s the possibility of collecting rocks, trapping and saving lizards and playing Zombie Apocalypse with the other kids on the block down at the park.
But the fact is that in 2017, technology is a necessary part of our lives. We all access various forms every day because they FUCKING MAKE OUR LIVES EASIER, not because we’re “addicted.” How nice is it to thumbprint-open your phone to check the weather for the day instead of turning on the news and waiting for the weather segment? How convenient is it to add money to your child’s lunch account via app so you can be sure that you’re precious little “prince” doesn’t go hungry or to receive an email from the teacher about how your little fucker pushed her to the brink of no return instead of sending home a handwritten note pinned to their shirt? How great is it to be able to check out the name of the first NWA album while arguing with your friends at Friday Happy Hour? Why wouldn’t we utilize advancements that make our lives easier?
The same goes for our kids. Teachers (in Texas, at least) are required to use technology in the classroom. Yet I still see parents complaining about “screen time,” actually blaming schools for their kids becoming “addicted” to technology. Look, if I roll my eyes any harder they’re going to go careening into the vast unknown. Our kids working in iPads in schools is necessary to learn to research and FUNCTION LIKE A BASIC HUMAN BEING in today’s society. If you’re looking for some puritanical educational experience where teachers use chalkboards and your kids listen to lectures in the second grade, first, you’re in for a real disappointment. Second, try homeschooling.
My own daughter absolutely loves this math computer program they use in school and can access at home for additional practice with really shitty graphics on par with 1987 Legend of Zelda. Sure, I’m angry about it; angry that they haven’t figured out a way to improve graphics in thirty years. But if it’s making her happy and helping her practice math, what’s the issue? If it helps them want to do educational shit, why are we complaining?
It’s time to put the rhetoric to bed and stop villainizing electronics. Let’s stop electronic-shaming our kids’ generation and just recognize that the world is changing and so must we. Plus, other parents are sick of hearing your pompous diatribes about “screen time” ruining our kids.