Do you fight with your child about spending too much time on the computer? Do you fight with your partner for spending too much time on her or his smartphone? Do you fight with yourself for sitting at the computer instead of playing with your children? These are the questions social researcher Sherry Turkle tackles in her latest book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, concerning what digital technology is doing to children. An excellent interview with her can be found on NPR: Have We Grown Too Fond of Technology? I would subtitle it as, “Have we grown more fond of technology than each other?” I am often telling my son that his computer time is up and that I fear him becoming addicted to it. I refuse to allow computer games or TV in our home. We don’t answer the phone when we’re eating or reading. Those are sacred times. But he aptly pulled me up on it one day when I was spending a lot of time at the computer. “You’re addicted, mum!” he said. The first words out of my mouth were, “No I”m not!” But then I paused and realised that there was some truth in what he said, that what he was really asking for was time with me. So the next time he was enthralled with the computer I said, “I so want to spend time with you and I can’t while you’re on the computer.” He quickly got off.
“You’re addicted to the computer!”