Am I a net addict? Hardly, I may say. Don suggests, in his less equivocal manner, that I’m nicely curing from my “Godzilla-mothering” addiction. With the backfires becoming more acceptable and much more amusing as the kids grow and gain their independence. The funniest ones are when I sweat to “fix” the lives of the grown-ups the same way as I’m addressing the issues of their teen siblings (about whom I still think they’re in kindergarten — according to Don). What would you expect from a “professional” mother?
But my Don, is he a net addict? Asked him and he replied:
“I’m more than an addict. I’m a netizen, I live in there, it’s my second life and nature. And one more thing: it’s also where I work, the net is the pavement that I bang day and night to bring home the stew.”
Yes, we’d be starving without his “addiction.” And here’s an interesting point in human behavior and psychology. When you go to a pub to drink your eyes and desert your soul, to waste your life in there, then you’re an addict. But when you go to the same pub because you own it, then you must be making a living out of selling something to the addicts. Controlling the “thing” and being controlled by the same “thing” makes the big difference. How often do you go to the hospital? Hope not so often, wish you’ll never have a reason to. But a doctor, nurse, janitor, etc., how often do they go to their hospital? Daily, because they work in there. However, any doctor, nurse, janitor, etc. might get sick like any other ordinary patient. So simply sitting on the other side of the table won’t give you an absolute protection against becoming an addict and being controlled by the “thing” you deem to master.
More than once I discussed this matter with Don to make him realize never to jump the gun, not to be overly confident and always to keep the “thing” within a reasonable measure. He’s a good listener and he followed my advice, balancing his “online permanence” with some hobby of sorts. Dang! His hobby is photography, in particular nude photography and even more to the point: channeling his love for me “also” by the way of having me pose naked for him, so he may create wallpapers from my photos, then build sites about his life love and voyeuristically sharing me online with men from far away corners of the earth. Gosh, we’re back to square one, again!
At least I have a good reason to take him out to the garden, on the fields or the banks of the river, even downtown if I’d suggest doing some upskirts. Shopping and driving me to mom are chores for him, but keeping me company is not, regardless if he takes the camera with him or leaves it to rest at home. He just craves to be together with me. Isn’t that the most lovely thing about him? Don’t you ever dare say that Don developed an addiction for me. It’s called LOVE and it works based on reciprocity.
With age pushing us against the dreadful digit of 50, we may notice how the kids start forgetting our birthdays because they have their own lives and personal problems to deal with. The romantic part of this is to have a hot hubby with an incurable addiction for you. It makes you feel like in college, in one word: YOUNG!
Looking around, some of our friends from college, divorced, struggle to avoid solitude. This one aggravates with advancing in age. Nothing could be more devastating than having to age alone. I, for one, feel young because hubby has an addiction for me. It runs deeper than his computer jobs and passions, it stands tougher than his typical male temptations to look after women — which he admires. A man is naturally addicted to women, but a man-in-love can only be addicted to HIS woman.
What I’m trying to say here is that people tend to fall for an addiction (or two), it’s part of human nature. What matters is if you are capable to channel this addictive tendency, to steer it on a positive track, to avoid ruining your life because of it and — if allowed — to even turn it over as a positive feature, to reverse the curse into a blessing. The key to this is gathered in one word: MEASURE. Know when to shut off the computer, know how to stop from touching other women, knowing how to speak less and counsel more. Measure is all about knowing how to handle the unknown.
Now back to kids, I’m still a mother after all, right? Here’s a column from Townhall.com that Don slipped under my nose today: It’s Up To Parents To Pull Plug On Internet, by Marybeth Hicks. One of my kids, my first one, spends most of her time with her computer, on the web. She carries her ThinkPad (Don industriously equipped us with refurbished enterprise-grade notebooks, so we won’t “nag him all the time with our nonsense”) everywhere in her backpack, at courses, in the campus, on the bus, etc. She lives a life online. But she also lives from this life. She’s not as much a net consumer as a net producer. This because Don took care of her from early years, teaching her the trade of coding, the logic of programming, the basic architecture of networks. She gets paid for creating Facebook pages and promoting stuff on them. Our second adult kid spends lots of time on the net because it helps her with research. While the teens BEG us to allow them online. Yes, they literally beg! And we give them net access at most for 15 minutes a day – under supervision. Don’t you think that they have no computers, because they do, each of them in their own room. Just that none of them has online access. Their computers are meant to help them learn and play and UNDERSTAND how the system works. This is how the other kids were treated in their teen years: personal computers in their rooms – yes; net access at discretion – no!
I love the conclusion from the aforementioned Townhall article:
“Then, I suggested, write down the rules about how much time your children can spend online, when they may use the Internet and where in the house they are permitted to be. When the time is up, unplug the router and call it a night.”