Diary of a Horrified Father: Technodining

Christa, Elizabeth, and I are sitting at a restaurant, when Christa silently indicates the table next to us. I glance over and see two parents on one side of the table, and a teenager on the other. That seems normal enough until you notice that there are wires coming out of the kid’s ears.

My first thought is that this kid is either listening to music or a cyborg. Either way, it’s not a good situation. As my eyes follow the wires, it is actually worse than I thought: the kid is playing games on his iPad.

I am not so hypocritical as to say it is utterly and totally wrong to use electronics at the dinner table. I mean, it is, but I struggle with disconnecting myself from that world for an hour-long meal at a restaurant, so I understand when someone checks a message every now and then. But there is something deeply wrong with using an iPad to play games at dinner as a little kid, much less a teenager.

What in the actual hell is wrong with this kid that he can’t stand to just sit in an awkward silence and eat without looking at his parents, the way we used to do it?

What’s more, do these parents not even like their kid? “Aw, hell we have to deal with this prick? Screw it, let’s buy him a computer to use when he’s around us.” I can maybe understand letting a small child play games to keep them from getting all antsy and meddlesome during lunch, but kids 8-18 have a responsibility to pretend they like being with their family for one freaking meal a day, damnit, because their parents worked their ass off to cook it or at work to earn the money to buy it, you ungrateful child.

Get off my lawn.

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