Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever increasing technological society and deprive them of technology.
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I was listening to the radio the other night – yes radios stations still exist – and the host was discussing the topic of giving your children access to tablets, phones, computers, etc. He opened up this question to his viewers and I was expecting at least a few people to say it was okay; instead, every single parent that called in spoke as if the internet was a gateway drug.

Listen, you have never felt true bliss until you hand your kid a tablet, sit them on the couch next to you, and switch the television over from Nick Jr to something a little more “adult”. Like a hockey game so you can watch your team lose for the fourth time in a week, but that’s a much angrier article for another week.

Do you know how long it’s been since I got to watch something on television – before midnight – that wasn’t asking me to do math or which shapes fit in which hole?

Too damn long.

I mean I get it. Parents want their kids to socialize and be active and contribute to society or whatever. And that’s great, really. Kids need to interact with other kids and they need to stay active; I’m not protesting against those ideas. I’m just saying that it’s possible for your kids to have it all.

When Dylan, my daughter, starts elementary school I expect her to be working with technology immediately. It’s the world we live in. Your kids are without a doubt going to interact with the internet at school. So, if they’ve never played with a tablet before they’re going to be behind before they even make it through the door.

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever-increasing technological society and deprive them of technology. Dylan spends a lot of time on my phone. I use this time to clean, complete coursework, or just breathe for three seconds, because children take a lot out of you.

This doesn’t mean she’s always on my phone; she’d much rather go outside than stare at a screen for an hour. Like last night when she stared longingly out into the night and asked: “mama can we go see the moon”? And I had to tell her “no Dylan it’s ridiculously cold outside and your allergies are terrible.”

She has a good balance of being familiar with technology but understanding other things are more important – unless her father’s calling and she’s watching Elmo, then her priorities get a little muddled.

And Dylan’s like a baby genius with the phone. She knows where YouTube is, knows how to pause and play videos, and how to clear my notifications off the screen. She’s basically an Apple maestro. I don’t mind it, because she sees how much time her father and I dedicate to our phones and so playing with one seems like the norm.

Her father and I could police how much time each of us is spending on our phones but seeing as how I’ve got friends hours away from me, a mother who loves to tag me on Facebook posts, and I just enjoy being connected; I don’t see that happening.

So Dylan’s going to have a tablet, but she’s also going to play outside, and she’s also going to shove Peppa Pig and Doc McStuffins figurines in my face and make me play pretend for an hour. She’s a cultured kid. As long as it doesn’t become too much I really don’t see the harm in letting my daughter have her ‘internet’ time. It keeps us both happy.

Cover Image Credit: Jelleke Vanooteghem

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

Could $100 Million BE anymore of an overspend?

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

How does one do that you may wonder. Well they start by announcing that as of January 1st, 2019 'Friends' will no longer be available to stream. This then caused an uproar from the ones who watch 'Friends' at least once a day, myself including. Because of this giant up roar, with some threats to leave Netflix all together, they announced that 'Friends' will still be available for all of 2019. So after they renewed our hope in life, they released that it cost them $100 million.

$100 million is a lot of money, money that could be spent on variety of different shows.

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What Do You Do When Tragedy Strikes Your Former Home?

In my desperate attempt to figure this out, I'm writing about it.

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On November 8th, I woke up with a voicemail from my mom. It went a little like this,

"Hey, it's Momma. I'm sorry it's really early your time, but I wanted to have you hear from me before you got the news on. There was a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks last night at a country bar about ten minutes from where our house was in Moorpark. There are 12 people dead, the shooter is dead, and a cop. It was college night at the bar, so anyone over 18 could go in. There were students from multiple colleges there, that's all they know so far. It's just horrible." And so on. I made it about halfway through the voicemail before I pulled out my laptop.

A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. This is what is referred to as one of the safest towns in America. This town was a short drive away from my home in Moorpark. These people are mostly my age. Then, the worst one occurred to me. What if when they display the victims' pictures, I recognize a face?

According to USAToday, the Thousand Oaks shooting is the 307th shooting on the 311th day of 2018. Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be desensitized to this gun violence? I sure hope not. I'll save you the agony of listening to how the rest of my day went. Long story short, I watched the news and cried more than I'd like to admit.

As the day carried on, I watched the pictures come up on my computer screen. I scrolled through social media and looked at my friend's posts of their friends being safe. Somehow, that did not calm me down. I watched the victim's faces pop up one by one on my laptop, and I listened to the stories.

All country music lovers, all college students, all heroes who helped save the lives of others before they lost their own. It was not until Friday that I realized I did recognize one of the faces. I logged onto my Facebook to get rid of a notification, and there it was. A picture of my childhood swim coaches, and Noel Sparks. Now, I understand that it's been years, but that doesn't make it any better. Each victim of the shooting had so much more life to be lived, and my heart breaks for each one of them. I send all of my love to the family, friends, and everyone affected by the Borderline shooting.

Not even a day later, there was news of a fire that is rapidly spreading. According to CBS News, The Woolsey fire has burned 98,362 acres of land and is only about 57% contained. While this fire has only 3 confirmed fatalities, the second fire that is burning in California has taken the lives of 56 people and burned 140,000 acres of land. I can spit out as many facts as my fingers can research, but it doesn't change the fact that my heart aches for my former home. When all of this tragedy happens and I'm 1,835 miles away, I have never felt so helpless. I donated to the victim's families, but I have not found a way to make sense of this in my mind. Why do these things happen? There's no concrete answer to this question, so am I going to wonder it forever?

If you would like to find a place to donate to the Borderline victims' families, click here. If you would like to find a place to donate to the victims' of the fires, click here.

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