Digital Abyss

One of my sons had a long field trip yesterday from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm. The entire family, including grandma, came to pick him up. Once he got off the bus, I told him, “We’ll go to the skatepark for a bit and then we’ll go out to eat.” He flipped out, “No, I want to go home. I haven’t played yet.” I replied, “We go out as a family.” He said, “Family is no fun.”

I was not sure if he meant what he said, but his words felt like a knife stabbed right to my heart. I canceled our plan and took everyone home. I made damn sure he didn’t touch his PC at all for the rest of the evening. If that behavior isn’t a sign of digital addiction then I don’t know what is.

Am I the only antediluvian dad who is too concerned about digital addiction with children? Maybe I should be the one to get counseling for having an issue with kids using digital devices from morning until dawn even when we went camping in the woods. They ate with their device on. Some of them were spoonfed while glued to the device. They took a shit with their device. They didn’t want to do anything else and I was too frustrated to suggest anything else.

Aren’t digital devices worse than smoking? With smoking, at least you get a break for a few minutes. I am fighting a losing battle because I am the only one who seems to be overeating. Maybe I should just chill out. We were in the woods. What the fuck can the kids do other than playing on digital devices? Why didn’t I come up with activities for them to do? Taking them to the skatepark is all about what I wanted, not what they wanted. It’s all about me.

I didn’t want to take them fishing because I find it too cruel. I just can’t imagine spotting something delicious to eat and biting into a sharp hook. One time, one of my sons caught a fish and I had to unhook it. It was just so damn gruesome. I am not god nor buddhist, but why would I treat living creatures that way when they don’t even harm me? Then again, I eat fish and meat; therefore, I am as hypocrite as fuck.

In retrospect, I should have pulled my kids away. Just let them sit around, relax, enjoy nature even if they were bored out of their minds. I tried not to intervene, but that didn’t do any good. I am failing my responsibilities if I turn away and allow them to sink deeper and deeper into the digital abyss.