I am adamant that my children won’t be getting an iPhone.
I am adamant that my children won’t be getting an iPhone. Or iPad. In fact, the only Apple they’ll be interacting with will be of the Granny Smith variety (and perhaps a nice Royal Gala in winter). Of course I have an iPhone myself, and I think it’s God’s gift to mankind. I am surprised at how often I catch myself thinking, “What would I do without you, iPhone?” But that doesn’t mean my kids will be getting their hands on this dangerous piece of machinery. Why?
Because otherwise they won’t learn the value of patience
Venturing 10 hours into the outback for Christmas at Grandma’s house every year teaches a little kid that the question, “Are we there yet?” doesn’t actually make you get there any faster. Over the years, I learnt to suck it up and deal with the travel time, deal with the boredom and, perhaps worst of all, deal with Dad’s interest in outback AM radio. And if I had to learn to cope with waiting, then so should everyone else. Out at a restaurant one night in Mykonos during my time in Greece a few months ago, I got (possibly too) irritated at the fact that the family next to me was comprised of a mum, a dad, two children and two iPads. Okay, yes, the kids were only like 4 years-old, so the extent of the topics their parents could have covered in a conversation with them was probably Dora the Explorer and tinned spaghetti, but still – I think they should have at least given it a go rather than providing them with individual iPads and headphones (probably Beats by Dre) to watch a movie while they waited for their meals. These children are going to grow up with an extreme inability to wait patiently and will probably end up harassing a McDonald’s worker because they were bored during the 7.5 seconds it took them to be given their cheeseburger.
Because otherwise they will be socially inept
I think Tom Gleeson, a well-known comedian here in Australia, put it best when he said, “iPhones are like penises. They’re fun to play with by yourself, but nobody wants you to bring them out at the dinner table”. Point taken. Guys, there actually is a real world outside social media. “No way?!” I hear you say. YES, WAY. You don’t have to revert to refreshing Facebook and Twitter and Instagram over and over again while waiting outside your lecture theatre on the first day of university. You could actually talk to the person beside you. “Really?” Yeah, mate. It’s not that hard. My iPhone was stolen within the first week of my 3-month European holiday and SOMEHOW I survived. I actually learnt to do things again. Read books, write in my travel diary, talk to new people and make new friends, become a human again, etcetera. You should try it sometime.
Because otherwise they will not leave high school with a shred of dignity
One word: Instagram – the photo-sharing app that literally makes me frightened of having children. Although technically classed in the same generation as the high-schoolers who make it their mission to become “Instafamous” (shudder), I feel like I really got lucky with the fact that Instagram only became popular among my friends after we finished school. For those unlucky teenagers a few years younger than me, Instagram is the Holy Bible. Following more people than are following you? Forget it. Don’t “crack a century” (get more than 100 likes) on a photo? You’re done. Your reputation is ripped to shreds and any hopes of being seen as cool are crushed. So, the only option is to bare all. Strip down to your bikinis or, for the gents (Insta doesn’t discriminate), upload a shirtless photo with the hashtags #lidsoptional or #doyouevenlift. As long as you’re getting your kit off and you have a good body (strategic positioning or shadowing and/or being a pre-pubescent 14 year old girl sans curves works too), you’ll get the tick of approval in the eyes of your peers.
I have no doubt my kids will complain and cry and curse at me for making them look like a loser with a vintage Nokia 2310 while all their classmates sport the latest iPhone 72S, but I will just tell them it’s character building. That was what our parents told us anytime they did anything annoying. Or embarrassing. Especially that time the car horn was broken and Mum drove my sister all the way to school with it blaring for the whole neighbourhood to hear. She got out of the car around the corner, insisting that by then she was “character built”. You go, girl.