We all know that too much screen time is not good for a child. Whether it leads to a sedentary lifestyle, childhood obesity or cyberbullying, kids with their eyes glued to a tablet or phone or some other device isn’t ideal. As parents, we’re the ones setting examples for our kids to follow. So it can be a bit hypocritical to tell our children to turn off the TV/tablet/phone/evil piece of technology and go play outside — while our eyes are unmoving from our own devices.
So Charlie Taylor came up with an ingenious — albeit a tad devious — plan. He created a new case for his wife’s phone and posted pics of it on Facebook.
According to Taylor, it took five minutes to do. He simply traced the phone onto the page and sliced it out with an X-Acto knife.
He used “a Hebrew book, so I don’t know what it was about,” he tells The Loop. “I didn’t intend any disrespect to Jewish language or culture, I just chose a book that neither my wife nor I (nor anyone else in this part of the world — Taiwan) would ever be likely to be able to read.”
And before you can say, “um, why doesn’t she read an actual book?” hear him out. They fully intended to not use their phones around their child but realized that was unrealistic — particularly for his wife, who spends all day, every day with their kid, not to mention stopping and starting a book constantly isn’t optimal for Mom either.
So they had to make a decision, as their baby becomes more and more obsessed with phones, and figure out what their child was seeing and will, eventually, mimic.
“I noticed a while ago that she would beeline toward any unattended phone, and always try to get a look at what was happening on the screen whenever someone was on the phone,” he tells The Loop.
Taylor doesn’t think it’ll be long before his kid clues in (“I’d give it a couple of years, tops”) and doesn’t plan to cut up any more books.
“I think the deception will only work until she reaches a certain age,” he says. “It’s inevitable that she will be sucked into the electronic world eventually; I’d just like to delay the process for a little while.”
And Taylor feels no guilt for being what one commenter described as “deceitful.” On the contrary, he feels “guilty about using a smart phone around her all the time. That is shameful. I’m just trying to hide my shame.”
So mitigating the effect of technology so his daughter becomes more obsessed with books than phones. Unlike the rest of us. Why wouldn’t this idea catch on?