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OT - unless you put this under "the death of civilization"

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Nov 30, 2023, 1:49:08 AM11/30/23
How anyone has the guts to be a teacher today is beyond me.

Tinynapper writes:

"I (25F) genuinely dread spending time around my niece (10F) who was raised as an iPad baby. And when I say she’s an iPad baby, I mean she has a SEVERE digital screen addiction. My brother and my SIL gave her unlimited iPad access since before she could walk, and they’re still not doing much to help other than trying to limit screen time on some devices. They don’t try to engage her in anything else, so she just steals her parent’s phones when they’re not looking.

"At best, I can’t even quickly check my phone for texts without my niece leaning over me to read them. At worst, she pickpockets my phone off of me or even snatches it out of my hands and runs away with it. I have to chase her down and wrestle it out of her hands to get it back because she doesn’t listen to anyone when she has it. If I’m wearing my smartwatch, she’ll grab my wrist and won’t let go so she can just stare at the screen. I have to hide all of my electronic devices when she comes over and even then she’s constantly harassing me to get my phone so she can download a game on it. I even caught her going through my bedroom once trying to find my Nintendo switch.

"I genuinely don’t enjoy spending time with her, and I can’t even blame her for it because she has such a severe addiction. I wish I could connect with her more as an aunt but it’s so draining. I really do resent my brother and SIL for letting her behaviour get this far and ruining her childhood. I can’t even say anything about it or else everyone in my family will just tell me that I don’t understand how hard parenting is and I have no right to criticize because I don’t have kids. I’m so glad I don’t because I don’t think I could deal with this every day.

"Edit: I should clarify that I have 3 nieces, but the youngest one is the one with the screen addiction. The older 2 do not have the same issue and are very well-behaved."

There are 72 comments so far. A few:

"Couldn't agree more. It's horrible. A good friend of mine once dated someone who had an iPad Baby from a previous relationship, and the kid simply could not function unless he had a screen in front of him. That was how the boyfriend and ex kept him busy. The child was a significant part of why my friend broke up with that guy; she couldn't see herself playing stepmom in this situation in the long run.

"When it was time to enroll in kindergarten, he didn't understand why he suddenly wasn't allowed to have a phone or iPad to watch YouTube whenever he wanted like at home, so he pitched frequent temper tantrums during class. He struggled to socialize with other children, had no interest in making friends, lashed out whenever he didn't get his way, and refused to obey the teacher or pay attention during lessons. It was a huge mess - it's absolutely a form of child abuse."

"not sure how I ended up lurking in r/teachers, but that subreddit is chock full of stories like this and the general consensus is that it's getting progressively worse at an alarming rate."

" 'He doesn't act like this at home!'. That's because at home he's given what he wants and isn't expected to do things he doesn't want to do."

"Some people should not be parents. Why have a baby if you don't even want to interact with it?!"

"Lol yeah, this is what I don't get about the iPad parents. Isn't interacting with kids and teaching them shit supposed to be the fun, rewarding part of parenting?"

"There is lots of terrifying new science about how screens are rewiring childrens brains and none of it is good."

"Man. My mum fucked up a lot of things when raising me, but her being extremely cautious about screen time (especially for my brother with ADHD) is increasingly turning to be one of the things she got right."

"Techie here, remind your sis that Steve Jobs didn't even allow his kids to use his products. This still holds true for many of my colleagues. They send their kids to private schools that put a dramatically huge focus on community/outdoor education."

"How can you dislike interacting with your own child so much that you constantly try to shut them up with a screen?
Why did these people have children if they don't like them?
And they call us childfree people selfish."

"No offense but these sound like god awful parents. My sister is the same. From the moment they open their eyes they’re on their iPads. And if I suggest she take them to the park or some other activity, she yells at me about how I don’t have a clue what parenthood is like. Yeah sis, should’ve considered that before you popped out 2 kids you had no desire to actually parent."

"I (23F) developed a screen addiction when I was 8 years old and remained addicted for about 3 years. I played video games up to 8 hours a day on the weekends. I still suffer from academic problems, poor focus, and facial tics that I developed around that time and attribute to my addiction. To this day, I resent my parents for not putting their foot down and for letting me retreat into the world of fantasy. Your niece is going down the same path. She's gonna be depressed and anxious before she's even old enough to drive."


Nov 30, 2023, 8:47:25 AM11/30/23
And here's the top-rated comment:

"This is so disturbing. I genuinely have no words to describe how terrifying it is to witness a generation of children with digital dementia-- like it gives me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. It should honestly be classified as abuse to cultivate an addiction like that in a child. It's literally stunting the child's emotional development, maturity, and ability to self-sooth or interact with their environment.

"The fact that SO many people think this is just normal or at best only slightly problematic is also frightening to me. Call it what it is. It's a severe addiction and inhibits child development."

Another comment:

"In our memories our childhoods felt long. Its because of how the brain is growing and the experiences we collect. I may sound like an old person; but this is one of the reasons why I'm glad I grew up in the 80's and 90's. We hung out with friends, played outside, I did art stuff and we went on trips. Was able to collect so many good memories.

"While I use tech myself and can get distracted by it too, I do my best to limit it. If I use it too much I feel guilty and depressed how much time I wasted on it. Have the feeling that one of the biggest regrets later on for people in their death beds is that they wasted too much time on devices. But I don't really blame those people. It is often parents that enabled that stuff and much of it is designed to be addictive. It should be a warning sign when tech giants won't even give their own kids the stuff they create."

(I'm even more glad that I'm a Gen Xer who had real LIMITS on screen time as a kid. Granted, it's getting more and more difficult to remember the pre-internet life, but at least I still have the mindset that makes me truly happier without a computer in the house. I went through something similar about ten years ago when my ancient TV conked out. After maybe two weeks of withdrawal symptoms, I really didn't miss it! Mind you, I didn't have cable anyway and I still don't, even after my dear aunt replaced the TV, a year later or so.)


Nov 30, 2023, 9:15:02 AM11/30/23

All of this reminds me of something I once told a father of a screen-addicted five-year-old boy:
"Would you let him eat candy every day?"

Why is it that well-educated parents can't grasp that just as you are what you eat, you are what you do?


"Thats something I noticed over the holidays with my nephews (2 and 4). The first thing they do at someone else's house is turn on the TV or take grandma or grandpas phone to watch a video on YouTube. And if you try to ask for it back..say for an important business call..they throw a complete tantrum. Outside of those things they can barely communicate. We try to talk to them and they just stare or giving you a disgusting look for interrupting them."

"Sure, child free people may not understand how hard parenting is.
"You know what we do understand? The difference between good and bad parenting. Being a good parent is much harder than being a bad parent.
"If someone’s excuse is 'you don’t know how hard parenting is,' it is because they saw how much extra effort it would take to be a good parent and decided not to put the effort in."

"that is genuinely sad. A kid's brain development can be very affected by overuse of screen time - it's just a bombardment of stimulation. I suspect she will suffer the ill effects of this in a few years time much more severely.

"There isn't much you can do unfortunately. I think the damage is done, especially if the parents won't do anything about it. And them saying parenting is hard is a shitty excuse. My brother in law has two kids and NEITHER have screen time, except I think now one is three they watch tv together at dinner for twenty minutes and thats it. It's all outdoor play and puzzles the rest of the time. As a result the kid doesn't really show an interest in screens. It's totally possible when you aren't a shit parent."

That comment reminds me of this.

I was telling someone - early this year, I think it was - that one not-so-minor reason I never wanted kids is the following.

Imagine this. You spend five years slowly and patiently putting your small kids through the motions of:

-Outdoor activities or at least vigorous daily physical activity

-Face-to-face conversations and all the etiquette that goes into them - if the kids hope to make friends

-Creative play

-Learning to enjoy delayed gratifications and multitasking, such as how to bake a cake and cleaning up while waiting for the oven to finish so that the only work, afterward, is preparing the frosting

-Doing chores and other unwanted duties without complaining about them

-Lots of reading aloud - and learning to enjoy reading alone

-Above all, putting other people first in general, within reason

You then have to send them to school, where...

...they're suddenly surrounded by classmates who don't do ANY of those things - or if they do, it's pretty seldom. What's more, they seem pretty happy about it. That is, they're not exactly depressed (yet) by having five or more hours of screen time every day. They're only unhappy that they don't have MORE hours. (I'm guessing that that's the case, anyway, for kids who have SOME limits on their screen time, as opposed to those who have none at all, like the horror cases above.)

How can that turn out well for YOUR kids?

After all, the golden rule in conversation is to talk about what other people are interested in, not what you're interested in - or you're not acting like a good friend, and kids who aren't allowed to watch screens much won't be able to keep up with each new episode of a show - or talk about it. Also, unfortunately, when most of the other little kids don't do things that require mental and physical effort, they're not going to feel socially compelled to talk about "dorky" activities that only ONE kid in the class does, just to be polite!

(I was a teen before I even heard of VCRs, so of course the idea of reading the book version before seeing the movie - such as "Mary Poppins" - was more or less normal among my classmates, and no one would have thought of anyone as a nerd just for doing that. At any rate, I can only imagine how much less of a reader I would have been, had it been normal, in the schools I attended, for kids to put down kids who read books without pictures for fun.)

And here's an example of how screen-addicted kids think, at age 10 (this was in the Boston Globe this September, written by a 16-year-old girl):

"I remember the dread I would feel as I sat on my twin-size bed when I didn't receive any texts. I was 10. When my neighbor knocked on my door and asked me to play with her, I thought she was a loser. What ten-year-old still plays outside? I was much cooler because I sat inside all day anxiously awaiting a phone call or a like. I look back and can't help but be jealous of that neighbor. She had a real childhood."


Nov 30, 2023, 10:41:48 AM11/30/23


19 min. ago
I love how parents of this generations said they were going to do so much better than their parent(s). All they did was stick a device with them instead of a tv as the new babysitter. What happened to making friends and going outside? I get we didn't have the plethora of technology as we do now or as advanced. But the 90s and early 00s we had movies, cable, computers, internet, music, video games - a lot of things to keep us indoors, yet our parents pushed us to get our friends to go out.

"Get your bikes and we'll go to the park with them." "Let's go to the roller rink." "How about walking to the library, and we'll give you some money to buy something at the bakery when you're done?" It wasn't hard to motivate kids to socialize then. Better generation of parents my foot. I have yet to see the new wave of compassion, empathy, involvement, or any of the like with this group.

Kenny McCormack

Nov 30, 2023, 11:19:57 AM11/30/23
In article <>,
Lenona <> wrote:
>"Get your bikes and we'll go to the park with them." "Let's go to the
>roller rink." "How about walking to the library, and we'll give you some
>money to buy something at the bakery when you're done?" It wasn't hard to
>motivate kids to socialize then. Better generation of parents my foot. I
>have yet to see the new wave of compassion, empathy, involvement, or any
>of the like with this group.

(Mostly devil's advocating here, but I do believe this to be mostly true)

I have to ask: Why? What is wrong with being an "iPad kid"?
I have not read all the text in all of your posts, but I get the general
jist that it is a lot of whining about the problem, but very little (i.e.,
none) explanation/justification that there actually *is* a problem.

Like it or not, people (and all living things) adapt/adjust to the world in
which they are going to live. And, face it, someone born today is going to
live in a vastly different world than the one in which we (you & I and
others of our age) grew up and live in. It is going to be vastly
different economically, socially, politically, and I think being an "iPad
kid" is going to end up being beneficial. Imagine a world and way of life
in which nobody else exists. It's just you and your iPad (and/or your
smartphone) and your various service providers. This could *be* an idyllic

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Nov 30, 2023, 12:31:54 PM11/30/23
On Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 11:19:57 AM UTC-5, Kenny McCormack wrote:

> I have to ask: Why? What is wrong with being an "iPad kid"?
> I have not read all the text in all of your posts, but I get the general
> jist that it is a lot of whining about the problem, but very little (i.e.,
> none) explanation/justification that there actually *is* a problem.

Maybe you missed the part about how TEACHERS are suffering due to kids who think they have the RIGHT to play on their phones whenever the teachers aren't "entertaining" enough? Or those kids who lash out, at the teachers, in ways that will obviously turn into physical violence later unless the behavior is nipped in the bud?

Surprise surprise, the world doesn't owe you anything as a child other than food, clothing and shelter - and once you grow up, you'll have to provide those three for yourself as well. If you didn't pay attention in school, you'll have a tough time. Parents who blame teachers for their kids' laziness only make the problem worse.

I think being an "iPad
> kid" is going to end up being beneficial. Imagine a world and way of life
> in which nobody else exists. It's just you and your iPad (and/or your
> smartphone) and your various service providers. This could *be* an idyllic
> existence.

I don't follow. As many have pointed out in the past, computers are always becoming more user-friendly, so even a Third World adult who has never used one can learn very fast. I.e., kids don't "need" to be playing on computers once their homework is done any more than they "need" candy.


Nov 30, 2023, 12:57:39 PM11/30/23
Oh, and bad manners in general - which screen time definitely aggravates - are nothing to laugh at.

I can't believe those who say out loud that the whole subject of manners and etiquette is "inane." (Btw, manners are the theory; etiquette is the practice.)

Do they really not SENSE, at least, that etiquette is all too often what prevent daily situations from turning violent or LETHAL, whether it's road rage, romantic triangles, or domestic battles? Not to mention the need not to irritate the criminals in your neighborhood?

Diplomacy is everything. This even applies to parents dealing with toddlers. I saw another Reddit thread that I thought was pretty interesting, in terms of not irritating strangers in a store. (Wish I could find it.) The OP/observer claimed to be perplexed by a mother who allowed a toddler to play with a stuffed toy while the child was in the shopping cart, but then took it away just before pulling up to the register. Naturally, the girl screamed bloody murder. The OP wondered why the mother allowed the girl to play with it at all if she wasn't going to buy it.

Others pointed out that 1) kids can be pretty fast at grabbing toys even when they're IN their carts or strollers, and 2) the mother probably had many things to pick up, so she didn't want to cause a meltdown at that time and thus force strangers to hear it for half an hour before leaving. So it was about choosing the lesser evil.

(Had the mother been able to prevent the girl from grabbing it in the first place, depending on the girl's age, she could have said to her "where's your money? Oh, you don't have any? Well, too bad, because you have to EARN money for anything you want." Another type of diplomacy. Soon, the kid would learn to stop crying over such conversations.)


Feb 15, 2024, 8:24:54 PMFeb 15
Found another one.

One thing I don't get is why many parents seem to believe that
kids have to be ENTERTAINED.

That parental belief is teaching kids to be passive. (Not to
mention what it does to their attention span.)

Whatever happened to MAKING them do chores every
day, with or without the parents' guidance...and then
telling them to go play even if no playmates are available?

(Reading exists too, of course.)

Don't they WANT their kid to exercise both mind and body?

Btw, some of the stories below come from the old thread as well.
(the thread is sorted from oldest to newest - there are 131 comments so far)

"I have the the ultimate ipad/phone story -

"I have a booth at one of the busiest farmer's markets in Canada -
8-10k people on a Saturday, so it is busy to say the least. In order
to walk through the aisles, you have to weave and stop and start
because of the amount of people.

"There was a kid - around 12 - with his face buried in his phone
and he never looked up while walking through this crowd. Why?
His mother was shuffling behind him with her hands on his
shoulders steering him around the people.

"He couldn't/wouldn't stop long enough to watch where he was
going. And by the looks of it, this wasn't something new.

"This is the generation that has no idea how to live without their
electronics - and they will be raising the next generation. You
think we have problems now."

"I've seen this exact thing at the mall too!!! Like holy fuck are
they raising a zombie? At that point they might as well put the kid in a wheelchair."

"Just watched a documentary yesterday about children’s addiction
to screens, and how they develop certain behaviors that lead to the
misconception that they may be in the autistic spectrum, but then
you take away the iPads for 3 months and they act completely
different, they start talking, sleeping better, socializing, etc. It is a
somehow old documentary (from around 2016-2017), but the thing
that was more disturbing for me was 1. The parents were completely
unaware of the correlation between the long exposure to screen time
of their kids and the behavior they developed 2. The adults were
addicts themselves 3. They thought it was normal. Then I see my
bf’s nephew who’s 5 years old and still can’t talk but is watching
youtube videos ALL DAY LONG, not even kids stuff, mostly some
weird gameplays that weren’t obviously planned to be seen by kids
(lots of bullshit being said in those), that fucking toilet man, stuff like that.

"The kid gets really angry if you try to take the phone away from him or
if you refuse to let him grab yours, to the point he starts screaming and
crying like crazy. Several members of the family have tried to bring the
issue to their parents, (and they have another son who is autistic and
on meds and therapy, which could make you think they’d know better).
They refuse to acknowledge the problem and, even worse, they happily
claim they’re good parents..."

"I wonder if this is a named medical condition.

"I worked with someone who spent an unreal amount
of time on his computer (we didn't have tablets or
smartphones back then). Most days he literally did
nothing else, usually shoving pdf after pdf onto the
c:/ drive and once he'd buggered that computer up,
he'd waddle off around the plant to find another one.

"I still marvel it took two and a half years to get that bloke fired."

"This happened to me, but it’s hard to blame my parents
because I was the first gen with tech from childhood.
I’m still battling to reduce my screen time but I can’t
help but think of the anhedonia it’s caused me in the
long term. It’s hard to enjoy or engage in anything that’s not a screen."

"I try not to get too judgmental to parents when it comes
to screentime. Kids quietly playing on their phone at a
restaurant, whatever. But I find it kind of disturbing
when a young kid is at a place designed to be fun and
engaging for kids (think museums, zoos, and parks)
and they're on a phone/tablet the whole time.

"I used to work at a shitty high school and some of these
TEENAGERS would throw full-on temper tantrums if they
couldn't be on their phones. Get angry, cry. That can't
possibly be healthy. And many of them were completely
unable to engage with or focus on anything for more than
thirty seconds because they had to look at their phones.
Is that a product of iPad parenting?"

"My little brother started becoming like this when he was
an adolescent. I was an older teen. Constantly on his tablet
and my parents at the time didn’t care. I was the only one
who really observed how it was negatively affecting his
development. I begged and pleaded with my parents to set
limits on his screen time, but surprise surprise, they didn’t
listen to me. They finally listened once he started having
severe tantrums and breakdowns from screen addiction.
It took him a solid 3 years of deprogramming, but I’m happy
to say now that he’s developed into a good, level-headed
young man now. I fear for this entire emerging generation
that doesn’t have limits on their screen time; we have an
entire generation raised by screens and totally detached,
their mental development totally stunted. Just go over to
the teachers subreddit to read what our teachers have to deal with nowadays."

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