While most people waiting in line for their new iPhone 5S or 5C went home disappointed upon hearing the gold version is sold out for weeks, two people were devastated before they even went on sale: Louis C.K. ‘s daughters. The girls are apparently begging for smartphones and using the parental favorite rationale, “my friends have them too!” Instead of caving to their demands, he is holding out. He wants his daughters to be the kind of kids that other kids look to as role models, the ones paving the way, not doing what the other “stupid” kids are doing.
I think these things are toxic, especially for kids…they don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy. You know, kids are mean, and it’s ’cause they’re trying it out. They look at a kid and they go, ‘you’re fat,’ and then they see the kid’s face scrunch up and they go, ‘oh, that doesn’t feel good to make a person do that.’ But they got to start with doing the mean thing. But when they write ‘you’re fat,’ then they just go, ‘mmm, that was fun, I like that.’
Makes total sense to me. While community and meaningful connection can be made on the internet, it’s not a replacement for the lessons we learn face-to-face in social situations. Seeing a person’s reaction to something you’ve said can speak a thousand words, and it often has a deeper and more constructive impact than 100 anonymous comments on your blog.
I don’t know the perfect time to let my kids have smartphones, and at two and four I know I have plenty of time to figure it out. No matter what their age I hope they use it as a tool of communication and not a way to avoid pain like Louis C.K. goes on to describe. This man is hysterical and profound at the same time, as evidenced by his most recent rant to Conan O’Brien.
And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’…then I said, ‘you know what, don’t. Just be sad. Just let the sadness, stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck.’
And I let it come, and I just started to feel ‘oh my God,’and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch. I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.
And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.
The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off or the food. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.
Freaking brilliant. Someone needs to get that man a parenting book deal.