The Taiwan Chapter
I’m scared. My Mum has gone all tech on me. Just the other day she used “lol” in a text. Not sure if she knows what it stands for. Worst of all, she tried to add me on Facebook. I didn’t accept.
A friend and I were speaking about parents. It’s quite common to get along with your friends parents than your own or even your partners. They are more like old friends or uncles and aunties. Parental relationships carry such baggage. Patterns of discipline that need to be released. Expectations that should never have been imposed.
I mentioned to said friend that my Mum friend requested me on Facebook and I declined. “What did you say?” The truth. “We’re not friends”. She “lol’d” at that one for a while. It wasn’t a joke though. How and why are we friends? It may be possible when a child matures that they can be friends with a parent but the dynamic must shift. The parent must also mature and relinquish all attempts of control. In short, they must act like a friend. Encouraging honesty, offering guidance and burying bodies. Also, my mother wouldn’t appreciate my use of profanity, despite how creative I can be. A talent under appreciated by the older generation.
Mum’s excuse for adding me was “but I want to see your photos”, to which I responded “I send them to you anyway!” She joked in passing that she wanted to check up on me. Honesty in humour.
Perhaps the most troubling thought is my mother wasting her time on Facebook. I hate social media more than I like it. Because of my nomadic life and interracial relationship I use it to keep in contact with friends that are all over the map. Not necessary but much simpler. I also acknowledge the future and that I must keep up, at least for a while. Mum has a landline and still remembers phone numbers, that’s a disqualifier right there. I strive to use social media and not let it use me. One must be very mindful to keep addiction at bay. It is an unforgivable time vacuum with an insatiable appetite.
I may sound like a crazy old man but I am only one fifth troglodyte. Today it is commonplace to see the majority of people mindlessly scrolling from dopamime hit to dopamine hit. Understand that these companies spend big money on developing ways to keep you plugged in. They are smarter than us. This product comes at a high personal cost to you. Your time. At birth you recieved an unknown and finite amount. Spend it wisely.
I guarantee that my mother, like many, does not realise the truth of the situation and will inevitably waste precious time watching stupid viral videos instead of watching her grandson grow.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried where the world is headed. I’m not saying technology is evil. But rather the misuse or unconscious use of it can create some permanent destruction. Like a rocketship piloted by a drunken maniac. On the bright side, it can also take us to beautiful new places that we have yet to see. In actuality it is our collective responsibility to steer this rocketship to an amazing planet of enlightenment and growth not a blackhole of 7 second videos and halfassed celebrity eulogies.
If Elon Musk saves us all the least we can do is be deserving and appreciative of it. A kid can dream.