Parentrap Children

Digital detox?

Illustration: Sahil Upalekar

Illustration: Sahil Upalekar  

Is honesty really the best policy? Then again, I probably should just have been honest from the beginning...

So, the year has gotten off to the worst start ever. I have been put on a one month digital detox! And I have no one to blame for it but myself.

It started last year when I complained to my teachers about my eyes hurting. Of course, the eye ache was caused by getting hit by multiple spit balls (I know, gross) during a free period spitball fight, but it’s not like my teachers knew that. I got to miss a double period of History (take that Indus Valley Civilisation) and go to the sick room where I took a sweet nap. When I came home and told my parents about it, they were so concerned that I was allowed to skip homework ‘till I felt better’.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t have, but can you blame me for using this to my advantage? You understand, right? Well, every time I had more homework than I could handle, I got an ‘eye ache’. It was only till the end of the year I promised myself, and as a New Year resolution I vowed that I would stop using such underhand techniques to get out of homework.

Well, apparently the Universe thought I needed punishment. Over the vacation, my folks took me to the doctor to see if everything was okay with my eyes. At first, it was a standard appointment, you know where they make you look at that chart and read the alphabets? But then, the doctor said I needed to have my eyes dilated. Have any of you ever had your eyes dilated? No? Let me tell you what this form of torture is like.

Modern day torture

A perfectly nice looking nurse comes and adds drops to your eyes and then tells you to keep them closed for 35 minutes and sit still. My two least favourite things in the world: darkness and being told to sit still. I totally started to freak out, and okay, yes, maybe I overreacted a little bit, but you would too if you were in my situation. Amma kept telling me to stop acting like a weirdo which did not help. And then to make matters worse, she started to play Dragon Mania Legends on her phone on my account! I could hear her tickle my snow dragon!

Well after 35 minutes the doctor strapped me into another machine of torture, shone bright lights in my eyes and asked me a series of terrifying questions like ‘Look at my right ear lobe!’. After being subjected to all of this, he shared his verdict — diagnosis I mean: My eye balls were dry from excessive screen time and I would have to stop using a phone or tablet for a month! Four weeks! 120 days! 43,800 minutes! Many, many, many seconds!

I should have accepted my punishment and kept my mouth shut. But to get out of no screen time I told my mom the truth. No surprises what happened next: I got grounded too!

What they say is true, folks: crime doesn’t pay. And if you ask me, neither does honesty!

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:34:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/digital-detox/article30592518.ece

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