JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Screens

The other day I accompanied by daughter on an after-school trip to Brooklyn for Hornets-Nets. We traveled by bus—about a one-hour ride.

Here’s what I saw:

Screens.

Screens.

Screens.

Screens.

Kids with iPads. Kids with iTouches. Kids with iPhones. Keeping to themselves, obsessed with the thought-sucking glow before them.

It made me—and makes me—sick.

As a parent, I get lazy moments. I’m as guilty as anyone. There are, simply, times when you don’t feel like parenting. You’ve had a long day at work, and you’re beaten down, and you’re OK with the tykes playing a half hour of Just Dance 3 on the wii. Hey, it happens. Often.

But we’re losing something here, and we need to realize it. Banter is a good thing. Creativity is a good thing. Enduring a bus ride without electronics forces one to chat; to think; to develop social skills. Really, it’s OK for a child to be bored; to search his brain for ideas; to have to turn to the kid next to him and say, “Do you like the Mets or Yankees?”

I don’t want my kids to become slaves to the screen. I don’t want them to text, don’t want them to constantly play games; don’t want them searching for Apps.

I just don’t.

PS: Oh, one more thing—dinner. What’s up with kids having iPads and iPhones at restaurants?