My son has become a statistic. I suppose, looking back, it was practically unavoidable, but I’ll admit, I still didn’t see it coming. Recent stats say this it is most common in 12-17 year olds. It happens to over 10 million people per month – – almost 35% of internet users. The risk is higher in families where other members are already users. None of these numbers, however, prepared us for the gritty reality.
H-T has discovered YouTube.
His older brother, of course, was the pusher. Up till now, he had kept his habit to his own corner. But he could sense the potential in his kid bro — he was primed for the kill. After all, you can only watch Spongebob reruns on Nickelodeon so many times before the high wears off. H-T was jonesing for a new fix.
At first, he was simply impressed by the number of video game cut scenes that he could find. Before long, he had discovered rare dinosaur videos (a longtime passion), and old Sonic the Hedgehog tv episodes. Mild experimentation had turned into social use, however, when H-T advanced into fan-made anime, clips from sci-fi classics, and blurbs from the Simpsons.
I’m devastated to report, that as of this writing, H-T seems to have lapsed into full-blown YouTube addiction. All the signs are there. He has begun to neglect the tv remote. His video game scores are dropping. He is withdrawing from his online friends.
So what is a mother to do?? I want my son back, but if I take the tough love approach, do I risk pushing him even further into his dependency – – perhaps into dancing cat videos? I read recently that YouTube is banned in Iran. What do you think? Could I find a laptop case that would look good with a burkha?