That thing I wasn’t gonna do. And it’s all Amazon’s fault!
I was surfing the web on Black Friday, innocently minding my own business, when I saw an ad for Amazon’s new kindle fire for $35. Disbelieving and skeptical (too good to be true!), I opened the link. And it was true. A kindle for $35!? I can’t get a month’s worth of diapers for that! So although I had no intention of buying any such device, my savvy shopper instinct kicked in and, thanks to one-click ordering, with no research and little thought, kindles were on their way for Christmas.
But I wasn’t gonna get my boys “devices.” I don’t want them hooked on technology, morphing into little robots who can’t look up from their screen long enough to make eye contact. I see enough grown men who barely glance up from their phone to see their baby’s ultrasound. And yet…in our increasingly tech-soaked culture, is it realistic to keep these devices completely away? And, as they will be entering adulthood and our technological culture eventually, is it wise to keep it completely away? Rather than shielding them from tech, perhaps we should be the ones introducing it, and teaching them to use it responsibly.
I had always focused on the addictive downsides of touch-screen devices, seeing poor parents use them as electronic babysitters. But after charging my credit card, I began to consider them from a fresh perspective. There are educational games, e-books from the library, and even music apps for Stephen. And the kindle does have good parental controls for screen time and even educational goal settings.
Since they’ve arrived, we’ve been struggling with what the limits should be, and how the kindles can be used advantageously. But overall, I think they will be a benefit to our family if used appropriately. And I admit, on occasion Stephen and Adrian have had to pry one away from me playing Candy Crush…