June Newsletter
     April 30, 2014       |   Santa Barbara, California                  

 
        




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Like most parents today, we at Mick’s Macs engage in the Sisyphean struggle with how much technology to expose our kids to. Especially the younger ones since whatever device you hand them is basically Extra Strength Valium. They’re almost instantly mesmerized and then get as grumpy as Uncle Bob on the wagon when you try to take said devices away. And that’s with parental controls set on high, everything password protected, and electroshock dog collars in play.

So, in our own imperfect way, my wife and I are making up rules to regulate all of this. In retrospect, it was a mistake to think a technological solution to too much technology would be all we needed. Clearly, a law degree should have been on the job description. At least as it pertains to our 10 year old and his unabating, unrelenting, unflagging attempts to find loopholes in the very straightforward, airtight decree we announced last Fall:


No digital devices until homework is completely done

and checked by a parent.


"What if the phone rings? Can I answer that?"

"Yes, you can answer that."

“So ‘ some’ digital devices are okay, right?” He’s still doing the annoying air quotes thing…

“It’s okay to answer the phone,” I reply.

“What if it's the school and they say we need to look something up online?"

"Then you need to find one of us."

"What if you're not around?"

"There is always one of us around as we don't leave you alone in the house."

"What if you're dead or asleep?"

"Seriously? Dead?!"

"Well, it could happen."

"And if it does, you have a bigger problem on your hands."

"Okay, what if you're just asleep?"

"Don't wake me, dead or alive."

"Okay, but what if you’re the only one home and you're with a client?"

"Wait until I'm done with the client and then ask."

"What if it's an emergency and the dog is choking."

"Why would the school call to say the dog is choking?"

"I'm just saying, what if that was the problem and I needed to interrupt you and a client?"

"Then you should interrupt me."

"What if there is a video on YouTube that will teach me how to save a choking dog?"

"You won't have time to locate and watch a video if our dog is choking. Come find me."

"But shouldn't I watch that now when she's not choking?"

"No, but make a list of all of the helpful videos you think you should watch and we'll talk about it when your homework is done."

"I'd rather play MineCraft [a popular kid video game] when I'm done."

"As I suspected. What happened to the dog choking video?"

"I'll just interrupt you if that happens."

"A good plan."

“Pops, it’s not FAIR. The other kids at school get to play video games all the time!”

“Which ‘other’ kids?” I’m only partially embarrassed to admit I make sarcastic air quotes right back at him.

“You know, the other kids I go to school with.”

“Do they have names?”

“Of course they do.”

Pause.

“That was the window where you tell me what they are.”

“I can’t.”

“Because?…”

“Because a good reporter has to protect his sources.”

“You’re a reporter now?”

“Same rules. Pops, in Kid World, you can’t give up your friends just like that.”

“But you’re not 'giving up' anyone. I simply asked who your friends are that have this unlimited video game time.”

“And what would you do with this information?”

“Well, I would probably send an email to their parents and inquire.”

“Exactly.”

“And that’s bad because?…”

“Because it will cause their parents to question their kids’ hard fought freedom to play MineCraft as much as they want. Pops, lives have been lost for this precious freedom you want to endanger with your email.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little dramatic?”

“Only if you think democracy is dramatic.”

“Sorry, little man, but this is not a democracy. Think benign monarchy.”

“Your honor, permission to treat the witness as hostile?”

“Where are you GETTING this?”

“School. We’re learning debate, your highness.”

“Great. And don’t call me ‘your highness.’ Anything else before I render my decision, counselor?”

“Just that there’s only one way to go if you value freedom in America.”

“Got it. Well, after great consideration, I’m not convinced that the lower court’s ruling should be overturned. The law stands. No technology till homework is done.”

My 10 year old heaves a teenage sigh, rolls his eyes and begins to sing “We Shall Overcome” as he leaves the room. My argument is completely exhausted and in need of a power nap.

At Mick’s Macs, we believe that consenting adults should have unlimited freedom to do what they choose with their digital devices.

Oh, and lest we forget, please check out our revamped website and tell us what you think! We’re trying to change things up a bit and hope you like it.

www.MicksMacs.com

All the best,

Mick



 


 

www.MicksMacs.com

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