iPads, iPads Everywhere!
We’re a few weeks into our iPad-Free Summer Experiment and … it’s not going well.
We didn’t take into consideration that our iPads, happily resting back in the States, aren’t the only available iPads within reach. In fact, so numerous and within reach are they that it’s almost an invasion. Like cockroaches.
Our beloved Oma (the boys’ grandmother), as we well know, is tech savvy. Not just for an 86-year old, but in general. She leaves comments on Photo Stream and can, kinda, post photos of her own (although she’s usually limited to what’s in the few places she goes: in the living room (photos of the dog on the couch) or our back (photos of the dog or flowers or dog near flowers). Her gadget-happy son supplies her with the latest and greatest and she now, for no apparently rational reason, has not one iPad, but two.
One for Li and one for Lu. Perfect!
We explained our Summer of No Love experiment and she didn’t quite get it, but she was OK with it. We put passwords on her iPads and within hours … the boys were on them.
You see, brother-in-law, gadget guy, also has lots of movies. He has the entire James Bond collection. Impressive. The boys are making their way through the 23 films and building their spying skills. So a simple over-the-shoulder glance at Oma excruciatingly slowly tapping in the password is easy pickings for these young recruits. They might even use the old reflection-in-the-window trick to catch the latest, recently updated password. In any case, they cracked the code and had iPads in hands.
Please note: we hadn’t specifically forbidden them to be on the iPads, but rather talked about how we would only play when they asked. Granted that a not-in-stone decree is part of the problem.
It wasn’t long before they were back on them at will. We talked about how we didn’t want them on the devices all the time. We played basketball outside, we went on excursions, we even watched (Dutch) TV.
But soon enough, Oma was seeing at least one of the reasons we wanted an iPad Free Summer. The boys transform into brainless zombies within minutes. They don’t respond to questions, nothing (at all) is fun or interesting, and conversation is, at best, monosyllabic. After holding the iPads for so long, they’re arms become motionless like a zombie’s because they hurt so much. Our friend recently bought an iBeani for her son as he has the same issue with his iPad. We’re not sure whether to get one, because they sound great, but we don’t want them on the iPads too long. Especially because it carried on, the zombie like nature of the children.
When they didn’t even greet Oma in return to her cheery Good Morning! it was the last straw. She finally saw the genius of our plan, the truth of the matter, the desperate addiction and sickness.
“They don’t answer, they don’t talk, they don’t do anything!” she cried in disbelief.
Welcome to our world.