… and then you take a second and you realize that they’re chatting, gaming, writing, and coding together. Would I prefer that she was out kicking a ball around, skipping rope, or making a fort? Nah! … because at her age I was camped in front of a NES fighting over a controller with my pals.
Dad: Are you ready for the sleepover?
Kid: no … you need to add more time to my tablet
Dad: You have two hours on your daily time limit.
Dad: Why do you need more? You’ll be with your friends.
Kid: and they’re all allowed more screen time than me!
Dad: My point is that you should just talk… play… make something together.
As if by some kind of ironic happenstance, when I wandered to where I keep my laptop so that I could write this very explanation about the origins of this gag and why I thought this comic is funny (a thing that definitely makes it funnier, right?) the Kid was using my computer… to watch YouTube… and she a was just sitting there glassily staring at an advertisement for one of those “build your NEXT website with” insert-companyname-here.
I mean, we have rules and time-limits about device use in our house, and if she chooses to spend her allotted time watching ads –and apparently she does — what can I do, really? I mean, draw a comic about it, obviously. And maybe some parenting. Yeah, probably some parenting.
I saw a buy-and-sell posting for an old radio, and it says: works perfect but the volume is stuck on stuck on full. I thought… I can’t turn that down!
…so she says “Your secrets are safe with me, dad!”
We’ve been having a lot of frank conversations lately, because y’know… eleven-year-olds are curious about how the world really works, and those types of things that you don’t normally talk about in regular conversations. Money. Politics. Religion. Family drama.
And you think to yourself… y’know… Secrets.
The next day happens and, boom… “I told so-and-so at school about….” Well, I may as well broadcast that on the internet, right. Maybe we should have started with a conversation about tact.