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Lo-tech is the solution to Hitech addiction

January 25, 2013

Ever seen a teenager who’s frequently checking his/her facebook, or taking picture of everything everywhere to tell the world on facebook how interesting everything is?  These are signs of addiction and it’s the beginning of neglect on more important things in life like studying or practising music/piano/violin.

Parents (especially Koreans) are constantly challenged by these hitech equipments.  Initially, these were probably brought to them with promises of having a better future for themselves and their children.  But those evil social media and games creep in through these hi-tech media and instead of programming or come up with more creative apps/programs (or watching a video learning a third language),  children ended up playing games.  Yes, they’ll play those addictive games even if you ban or restrict them from playing.  Or worse, check and contribute to their FB or twitter account more than 20 times a day.

Below are my suggestions for parents who are at the verge of giving up their fight.  Very often, the parents themselves are partially to be blamed.  Parents seem to be spending huge amount of time on these things because

“Hey, I’m not the ones in school, I don’t have to take those dreadful exams anymore, you’re the ones who have to study.”

Is this the attitude you have?  if it is, then their goal is not really to do well, but to get it over with an become like you --  享受清福 !

The “showing by examples” is no longer the most basic message parents are showing.  It’s a powerful measure to take if one is looking for something more “long term”.  Ask yourself, how successful can a pair of heavy smokers convince their children not to smoke, if their children ever pick it up?  Sure, just show them X-rays of your lungs!  The same reasons why “divorce parents begets children who very likely end their own marriages“.  Showing by example is a very powerful, long lasting message.

For a start, remove all your hitech equipments.  Seriously, ask yourself how many TV a family really needs.  I said “ONLY ONE”.  In the living room.  So if one needs to be connected, one desktop for ONE family should suffice.  Get rid of all the computers, iPad, iPhone, Nooks, Tablets and anything that’s acting like a computer.  And put one ugly bulky desktop (with no webcam) in a room accessible by everyone in the house.  Have only ONE browser that is filtered so that it does not watch any show or play any game (I suggest BARRACUDA, it’s extremely effective).

Buy new machines if you want, but go with a sewing machine.  Or a machine that makes pretty pancake.  Or one that allows you to cook better.  Go on, get addicted to cooking or perfecting an art, it’ll only get your children to practice the piano or the violin when you’re not at home watching.  Or if they want to be the next Ming Tsai or David Chang owner/founder of Momofuku (Lucky Peach), you really have nothing to lose.

Stop watching all your favourite movies or show.  You know deep down inside that it’s an addiction similar to what you ban your child from doing.  Tell yourself you are a smoker mom trying to stop a smoking child every time you start your favourite drama or movie.  Stop pretending you’re doing something useful just because it’s your iphone 5.2 you’re staring at.

So what are you going to do with all that extra time you have?  Well, learn a new language.  Don’t use the iPad or computer to learn, listen to a language tape one hour three to five times a week for at least six months to a year.  Put goals in your life (like completing a marathon) say you want to be able to watch a Japanese ANIME in seven months or speak to a German relative by the beginning of next year.  As students, they have their PSLE, ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ levels as targets, you too should have an achievable target.

If your passion is writing, write your first or second book.  Nowadays, it is possible to publish your own book.  Give up that vacationing in “Timbaktu” and use all those energy and money to publish your first “intellectual gift”.  If your passion is drawing, spend months or even years and indulge in creating your first Masterpiece.

I seemed to be saying too much.  In short, wane yourself of from those horrible devices and start something simple, something you would really, really like.  There are unlimited charity organizations who could have use for your iPad, iMac and Kindle Fire. If you love Biology or Physics in the past, tell the nearby college, University or Poly that you would like to give talk about DNA or Deep Sea Creature or Quantum Computing.  Then embark on an impossible journey to learn all these passions of yours before an audience of students and scientists.  You’ll be surprise, how welcome you are even though you’re just a novice.  They will be as interested in your talk and your journey to be there.

And I almost forgot, do lots and lots of exercises that you really, really love.  Swap precious time watching Queen of Ambition @ Yawang with perfecting that Zumba movement or completing that 102 miles biking.  Trade that time for watching Ice Adonis with practising to perfect your backstroke or butterfly.  In the end you’d have less to talk about with other housewives, uncle or auntie.  But you know deep inside you are doing the right thing.  You are becoming a better person.  And your children will follow suit.

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