Dear Daughter: About Tech
I’ve chosen to make the Buzzard’s Roost block from the Farmer’s Wife Quilt book and tech usage for your letter, this time. For some reason, this quilt block wasn’t on my original list of blocks to-do. It jumped out at me, while I was flicking through the book, a few weeks ago.
I have to admit, I can’t fathom why this is a buzzard’s roost. Our local buzzards love roosting in the oak trees out the back. Usually one to a branch. To me this blocks seems to suggest that the birds sit in a square facing each other. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. I know US buzzards are different to ours, so maybe it’s lost in the translation.
We have buzzards that glide above our garden. I look forward to the late Spring when we’ll hear the family of buzzards meowing above our heads. I hope it will be a strong childhood memory for you in the future. Maybe when you hear a buzzard, it will transport you back to time when you played and helped in the garden as a child.
I’m hoping as the days warm up, you and your siblings will spend more time out in the garden again. Away from all the distractions of modern technology.
It does worry me. As a child, my summers were spent off in the woods, building dens, pond dipping at the local lake, swimming at the lido or hurtling around the roads on our bikes.
In the winter, I don’t remember being out as much, although I do remember sledging down roads in the snow, which must have made them a nightmare for the adults trying to drive on them. I think we read more, crafted lots and played. I know I read a lot of books. Nothing unusual, we all did. Children’s television was limited. No CBBC, and we didn’t have computers or mobiles.
Which brings me nicely on to the point of this letter. Just one fact that I want you to read. It’s not new. It’s not original, but it is true. Ready?
Here it is. It concerns screen time.
As soon as you sit, looking at the screen, you will lose all perception of time.
Minutes will turn to hours. It doesn’t matter if you are on your mobile or laptop, you will no longer be able to judge time. Even if it is educational (a common retort in our house). What feels like 30 minutes will, in reality, be 3 hours. It is as if time slows down and you only notice when you step away from the screen, to find that it’s hours later. Like Rip Van Winkle. It happens to us all.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I love how it opens up new learning and fun that I could only have dreamed of at your age. My career is based on it and I have a degree to match, but I do worry that you are missing out on other wonderful activities. It’s OK. It’s part of my job as a mother to worry.
So do I have an answer? I know some people swear by setting a timer. Once it goes off, you stop. No “buts”. It may be worth a go.
We’ve been limiting screen time to between certain hours, which I think is working well. We’ve talked about tying screen time to reading time. Read for half an hour, to earn screen time.
At the end of the day, I hope you will learn to regulate yourself. I think this may be called a life skill, as time goes on.
So, there you are, my daughter. The ball is in your court, so to speak. What will your childhood memories be? Are you going to let tech eat your time, like a ravenous, big bellied, ungrateful monster, or will you take control of it in the future? What will your childhood memories be? I’d love to know.
Your loving mother
This is part of my Dear Daughter Quilt project (more here). One quilt block for every letter.
p.s. Did you notice I’ve added 1920 to the top photo? I’ve recently discovered that there is a second book. This time based on the 1930 letters. Stopping myself from looking a the new book until I’ve finished this quilt. But if want to take a look, it’s here. Just don’t tell me anything about it, yet.
And my word of the week has to be “restraint”. For all of us!