Monday 4 September 2023

They do not need a phone

We at Norman Towers enjoyed our biggest win of 2023 SO FAR...we received an email from our daughter's school telling us that mobile phones (or cell phones for my American readers) would not be allowed on school premises from the start of term (today).

Talk about a RESULT. 

My only child is entering year 8 (not sure?) and has, certainly for the the last 12 months, along with her best friend, been the only child in her year without such a device (apparently).

As time passed other parents said they wouldn't be giving their kids phones until they were in big school (which for us is 13) and yet by the ages of 7/8 one by one children kept appearing with one, under the auspices of 'fitting in' (when did we last here that kind of talk, hmmm).

In the era of fairness and inclusivity (LOL) it seemed like the wishes of the small minority (in this case me/my wife and one other set of parents) were being ignored because 'well we don't want them to feel isolated and I like to know where they are' type thinking. 

Well, we at chez Norm tend to call bollocks where we see bollocks. And this was complete and utter Betty Swollocks in all her finery.

We couldn't understand how it was okay for kids as young as nine or 10 to spend break and lunchtimes, plus lengthy coach trips to away sports fixtures, glued to their phones making fucking TikTok videos. Are you kidding me?

I don't think I'm alone as a middle aged man feeling a guttural sense of dispondency whenever I see kids at a bus stop, on a bus or just generally hanging out in groups, not seemingly aware of the world and the people around them, but transfixed by the latest YouTube short.

Did I say dispondent? I meant depressing. It's fucking depressing.

My daughter and her friend can only chat for so long on a coach journey of an hour or more, before conversation runs dry and they get dragged in to perform some daft shite for TikTok. I tell her it's okay to just look out the window and be alone with her thoughts.

Imagine that for one be alone with one's thoughts. What an old fashioned concept!

She's a great kid, she doesn't suffer many fools and is not bothered about the TikTok shite, but these things are designed to get you on the hook and any more passive viewing would most likely have reeled her in.

She has the use of a tablet at home and her mum's phone when it's free and we see how addictive these things are through her - and we know we're all guilty of it.

But it behoves us to protect these precious minds from who knows what. It is not fucking okay to just go along with the next thing because 'it's inevitable anyway'. No it's bloody well not, if you've got the minerals to stand your ground on a point of principle. And thankfully the school's Head agrees.

Parenting is knew to every parent - especially when you only have one - each stage presents challenges and none of us gets everything right. I'd hardly put myself forward as a model parent, although I give it everything I have.

But I firmly believe we are here to protect, first and foremost. And to give them wings so that they may fly when the time comes.

Children do not need phones during school time. They should be interacting, developing physical relationships and learning all the skills required to function in an adult world that is hurtling towards them.

We simply do not know what effect the constant use of these Goddamn machines are having on their little brains, their fragile emotions and their cognitive learning. 

We all know the benefits of interconnectivity and knowledge at the touch of a button. But if I can encourage one parent or one more kid to leave the phone at home, I've done something worthwhile.

Coming and why the response to a manufactured public health emergency was a test of compliance, how and why they will try it again under some other guise, and how and why the State and its controllers are not incompetent, but pure evil.