Warning: This is going to be a blog post about totally meaningless internet drama (albeit a small drama). Do not read on if this type of thing bores you.
As you might know, we are a big iPad family. Before the iPad, I never used to be a big Apple fan, not for any particular reason but just because it seemed like all the trendy types had iPhones and Macs and I hate being a slave to any 'trend'. I am anti-trend. But everything about the iPad appealed to me and I decided to treat myself by buying an iPad when it came out two or three years ago.
I loved the iPad from the minute I got it. Before it became so popular, people used to ask me if I bought the iPad for business and I used to be honest with them - I couldn't even pretend I bought the iPad for work, it was 100% sheer pleasure.
The kids loved the iPad too, as did Marko. Soon I had to fight to get a chance on my own iPad and so I decided to get the twins their own iPad each. And then Marko wanted one too. And then I upgraded mine and we gave Adam's old one to Max and my old one to Adam. And just like that we were a five iPad family. And we all absolutely adore our iPads. The kids watch movies on the iPad plus play the games they each love. Kate has lots of games where you have to collect animals and feed them etc. Adam has games where you race cars. Max has games where you need to find pieces of a puzzle etc. Plus we have loads of educational games that the kids love too. In fact, Max taught himself the entire Alphabet at two years old due to the iPad. What I love about iTunes is that you buy the games / movies once and you can either load them all to all of the iPads or choose particular games per iPad. Apps and movies for the kids are my absolute weakness, I have spent literally thousands on iTunes. Hello my name is Tertia and I am addicted to iTunes.
Besides our beach bag, swimming costumes and body-boards, our iPads are our main holiday accessory. When we were away on holiday in December, I posted a picture with a tongue in cheek caption saying: "Essential Albertyn family holiday accompaniment." Instead of TV in the evenings they all play on their iPads for an hour or so. As do I.
The picture was a self-depreciating joke as it makes us look like a bunch of geeks. Which we are, maybe. Well, I am. The rest of them are pretty normal.
Within a few minutes someone (who I assumes follows me on Twitter or else how would she have seen the pic?) posted a tweet saying the following:
Really? You either don't know me at all (because if you did, you would know that my kids spend 90% of their time outside in the garden / on the beach / in the pool - have you seen how tanned they are!) or if you do know me and you still put that out there then you are a bigger troll than I thought. Also, yes that is a cowardly passive-aggressive sub tweet.
The conversation went on:
Addicted? Why would you assume from one picture (assuming you didn't know me - if so, why are you folling me on Twitter?) that my children are addicted? Also, for someone who apparently "hates judging" you are very judgy.
And in answer to the question "why any kid under 16 (at least)" needs an iPad the answer is: no one *needs* iPad. Not me, not you. Certainly not a child. No child needs an iPad. They also don't *need* 99% of the toys they have. My children have iPads because that is part of how we like entertaining ourselves. The other parts involve going to the beach, climbing trees, finding bugs, playing cricket and soccer etc.
I hate how people are so quick to judge things that are not the norm or that are different to their lives. Yes my kids have iPads - why is your first assumption that having an iPad = total addiction? Believe it or not, there is such a thing as moderation and control. I have control over my children and I would not allow them to do anything to excess whether it is iPads or any other activity.
At first I thought it was amusing that someone was misinformed enough to tweet that but then it irritated me. I suspect there may be an element of jealousy invovled too. But that isn't licence to act like a troll. "Sub-tweet" - whatever!
Believe me when I say that I know how fortunate I am that I am able to afford iPads for my kids. I don't take that good fortune lightly. I also know that it gets up some people's noses terribly that my kids each have their own iPad. I know, and my kids know, how lucky we are. Don't forget that we all have different priorities and different desires. Your desires might involve holidays / cars / clothes / eating out / whatever. Our desires involve gadgets and electronics. And other things too of course, but this is not a post about how much my children love the beach and how good they are at body-boarding and swimming. (they are AWESOME at it! Total beach bums.)
This post has waffled on long enough, even I am bored with it now. The main point I wanted to say (besides that the tweeter above is a total troll) is that do not assume that if a child has an iPad it means that that is all they do to the exclusion of everything else. That is total rubbish. A child can have his or her own iPad and still spend 90% of their time playing outside. Even I couldn't spend my whole day on my iPad and I am the biggest iPad lover ever. A child having an iPad does NOT mean he is addicted to it. That's just silly to assume that.
PS if the worst thing I do is allow my kids to have an iPad then I am doing well. I have far greater flaws that could be discussed but we will leave the conversation as is ;)
PPS I don't know the person who did the judgy sub-tweet, someone who knows her sent the image to me. I still don't actually know who she is but she has admitted that she was referring to me.