Smartdad

Looks like everyone is part of a secret conspiracy, and they left me out. Nobody told me and now I often get the feeling that I’m the only one who doesn’t have the newest gadget. Everyone is staring at their smartphone screen but me. At work, on the bus, in the park, restaurant, movie theatre, toilet, even on holiday, they go as far as to take it to bed with them — and you can imagine the rest.

It turned out that the devices are similar and in principle they’re equally smart (someone even said that they can be made smarter at will, but I won’t fall for everything); however, many people poke at for different reasons. So it’s not necessarily true that they use if for work during work and they play games when on holiday. In fact, it’s just the other way round. Actually, they can check out the movie guide while in the restaurant, they can check out the menu while at the movies, and the toilet is a nice place to play games, work or book airline tickets. But why do people actually need a smartphone? People used to travel in the past too, you’re quite on time if you check the menu while at the restaurant, and people were happy if they didn’t have to work between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. Or so I thought.

Since then, I’ve come by one of these gadgets myself and now I’m slowly beginning to understand what all the fuss is about. First of all, this piece of junk really is smart and can indeed be made smarter, its skills enhanced with thousands of applications at will and customized to your needs. It makes me smarter too, for as long as I have it with me, there are no unsolvable problems or unanswerable questions. I heard it would be enough to teach students in schools how to use these devices effectively, and for everything else you have the device itself. It seems a bit excessive though, doesn’t it?

However, I realize I can’t keep my children away from them for long, even though at the moment they only want it because the other kids have it, and they don’t. They have a point, though not in the way they think: they cannot be left out, cannot lag behind the rest of the world, and obviously this is the direction the world is taking, even without my permission.

Just because we played with blocks of wood and scribbled messages on pieces of paper, it doesn’t mean that it should be enough for today’s kids. We had no choice, but their situation is different. I’ve heard the older generations so many times: “back in the day…”, and I promised myself that my children would never have to hear it, not from me anyway. They can live in the present and in the future.

Of course, this golden age will only last until my son’s greatest wish comes true, that is until the zombie apocalypse sets in — then the only thing a smartphone will be good for will be as a wedge under the door or for stone skipping on a lake. However, until that time arrives, let the kid use the phone. Maybe he’ll look up what needs to be done if your neighbour turns into a zombie and starts growling at your door.

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