Are you an addict?
December 9, 2017

I admit it. I love how not addicted I am to my smartphone. I attribute much loveliness about my life to that one thing. And I’ve noticed, more and more as the years go by, how rare that is among adults.

Increasingly heartbreakingly, it’s rare among little kids.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to compete with a smartphone for a parent’s attention. It strikes me as the recipe for an unhappy childhood. But lately I’ve also wondered how parents can possibly compete for a child’s attention once that child learns how to use a phone. How could a conversation with Mom, for example, enchant the way “Lights! Camera! Action!” does?

It’s up to Mom (and Dad, of course) to keep that from happening, which is challenging if Mom and Dad are glued to their phones. But even if they aren’t, you have friends and family and sometimes complete strangers handing a phone to the kid. “Oh, isn’t that cute?” everyone (well, almost everyone) says, while gazing at the computer skills of Too Young to Talk But Old Enough to Scroll. It would take a parent who isn’t afraid of alienating the Everybody’s Doing It crowd to go against that grain, to politely hand the phone back to the owner.

That’s what it will take to keep a child from becoming addicted to technology, though. Just ask the inventors of it!