Thank you for your response, Joao Nascimento. You know you’re getting old when you can remember a time before the internet. Much like you, I was born without it. Contrast this to parents handing kids in a push chair their smartphone to stop them from griping and I sometimes feel quite alienated from this world.

I had a somewhat unusual upbringing. When I was growing up, screen time was strictly regulated. Although we did have a TV, I wasn’t allowed to switch it on myself.

My parents weren’t early cable or VCR adopters either. Back when they still lived together, I had to request permission in writing to watch Friday night TV with them. My mother made me write the note, presumably so I would think long and hard about whether it was worth it.

When my parents divorced and I went to live with her, she’d run her hand over the TV set when she came home at night and if it was still warm, you can be sure that hand would be on my face in no time with a resounding slap.

All of the above may explain my somewhat conflicted relationship with screens. Then again, there’s no denying having information at my fingertips has made my life better, ditto the ability to communicate instantly with people on the other side of the world.

Right now, smartphones are literally holding my family together:

I cherish every message I receive from them, and they from me.

The same goes with messages from dear friends who make what is a rather isolated life a little less lonely… ;-)

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