I used to love technology. It entertained me with TV and video games. It educated me with its online research. It helps me keep in touch through cell phones and email. It essentially keeps me employed with online marketing tools and social media. However, with Ava on the way, I suddenly see its dark side. (cue dark ominous music)
Cell phones can be a problem. With Michelle being a teacher, she sees it every day. These kids hold entire conversations via text messaging. No need to actually verbalize anymore, let alone look at the person you are speaking with. And grammar? You can throw that out the window. Here’s what you get with a text, “Ru goin 2 the mall 2day?…i luv shopin. lol. omg.” What the fuck is that? It looks like Klingon. But that’s not the worst. The worst is when you are out and you see these kids with their heads constantly looking down at their phones that are attached to their hands. What is on that phone that is so interesting that you have to completely ignore the actual real human beings that are in front of you? “Look honey, it’s Niagara Falls. Isn’t it beautiful?”…”I can’t look now. I need to watch my phone because I am waiting to hear back from Meagan to see if Louie hooked up with that slut Jamie. Big deal anyway, I’ve seen pictures of it on Wikipedia and stuff.”…”PUT DOWN THE DAMN PHONE! Interact with people. Use your mouth to communicate. Your friends won’t think you are dead because you took 10 minutes to reply to a text…ok maybe they will, but that’s because they are dumber than rocks. By the way, you need new friends.”
So the question is when do you introduce a phone? Yes, it would be nice for her to have one in case of an emergency or if we need to get in touch with her. Michelle and I didn’t get one until we were well into our teens and had jobs to buy and pay for our own. But that was before they were such a part of everyday life. I know there are some options and limitations you can set, I guess it just comes down to how mature and responsible we feel she is. By the way, just as an aside, I hate cell phone companies. Like Joe Pesci said in Lethal Weapon 4, “They fuck you with the cell phones!”
Computers. This is where it really gets tricky. I read a University of Michigan study that stated the average teenager (ages 12-17) spends nearly 40 hours a week online or using a computer. This is a combination of school and home use. That’s essentially a full-time job. My two biggest concerns with computer use is Ava looking at inappropriate sites and, of course, online predators. We can block the sites. About the other thing, if i ever find out some guy is talking to my daughter online and trying to meet with her, I will find him and cut his dick off, then rape him with his own dick.
Michelle and I discussed the computer issue. Obviously you need one. A kid literally can’t get through school effectively without one. We believe the answer is having only one computer in the house and have it located in a main living area. We’ll see if that works. I like to think that we will raise her so she knows to recognize a scum bag and not make terrible decisions like meeting with strangers, but just to be safe I will always keep a sharp knife on hand.
There is other technology out there that concerns me, such as video games and TV, but I will touch on those in Part 2 on Monday. I understand that I may be over thinking these things, but I really don’t want Ava to be one of those moron kids that are hypnotized by technology and don’t know how to use their imagination anymore. I also don’t want her growing up too fast, but that’s another subject for another day. I’m not kidding when I say that if we are somewhere as a family and the phone comes out, I will smash it. That’s just the Italian in me.
Angry and violent Passionate and motivated.