That’s it. I’ve had enough. Enough of technology being the most important thing in everyone’s life.
This morning, just before 7:30, a furious row broke out between three of my children and myself over an Amazon Fire Tablet. Charlie had it but it belongs to Jordan, Jordan was shouting that he can’t have it “he’s not allowed! He’s not allowed on my game!” He was shouting at Ellie who was supporting Charlie in his quest for Jurassic World domination then I storm in and shout at all of them “RIGHT! That’s it! They’re all bloody banned! Hand them over, ALL of them!”
What else could I do? I mean, it’s just getting ridiculous. At that moment in which Jordan was shouting for his tablet back, he was holding his phone, playing a game. The Xbox One on upstairs downloading another. The Smart TV on in the lounge streaming some crap from YouTube, Charlie’s tablet on charge in the kitchen and Ellie had her phone in her hand, with a laptop and tablet of her own on charge in her bedroom. It’s just too much.
And they’re obsessed with it. To the point where if they can’t have it, they have actual violent withdrawal symptoms. Like, anger, aggression, frustration, emotional outbursts of crying and even a full on temper tantrums.
Surly this isn’t good for them? Don’t get me wrong, I have rules and boundaries about when and where they can play their tech but those times in between is where the problems lie. This morning for example: they are supposed to be washed, dressed and fed, lunches made and school bags ready before they even so much as look at technology, however, Jordan somehow managed to turn the Xbox on and get hold of his phone, Charlie the tablet and Ellie her phone half way through what they were supposed to be doing. It’s like an itch they simply have to scratch no matter what the consequences. Without it, they almost lose their identity. Even Tom, whose phone broke on Tuesday said going to work without it felt like he’d lost a limb. It’s astonishing that tech has become such a part of daily life that we are completely lost without it.
Jordan is the good kid. The one that doesn’t give me any real trouble, he does well at school, helps around the house when I ask and is generally a good brother to his siblings. He plays football for a local team and just recently achieved his yellow belt in kickboxing. He’s the “going places” kid. The one you don’t worry about too much because 90% of the time he has his shit together. Except, when it comes to technology.
You see, Jordan is seriously, boarderline obsessive over anything that has a connection to WiFi. He’s not a texter or a selfie taker, he has no interest in the latest apps or Facetimeing his mates. No. Jordan is a gamer geek. And his games are his life. But things have got to change. Things have got to stop getting so out of control that my kids feel their life is being held in a screen.
And so I’ve taken the lot. The laptops, phones, tablets, even the TVs are now set on a timer. Granted, it will probably make my life 10x harder when I don’t have anything to entertain the little ones with when I try to get dressed or when the older kids are complaining they’re bored but I honestly don’t care. I’m fed up of the arguments, the lack of commication, and the damn obsessiveness.