My Kids Won’t Play with “Real” Friends?

Dear Crabby,

My kids spend all day on their computers chatting with “friends” on the internet. How do I get them to get out, meet the neighbors, and talk with “real” friends for a change?

Sincerely, Miffed Media Mom

Dear Miffed Media Mom,

My oh my, you don’t have to convince me that these kids today spend too much time on their computer widgets!  My grandkids are always on those Spacebook or MyFace or Twiddler places talking to who knows who from who knows where.  The technology these days boggles my mind I tell you.  When I was a kid having a blue tooth was something caused by eating too much blue icing. Now days these kids are asking for those for Christmas!  As for these wifi, sci fi, or tie dye deals today, I have no use for them.  If I wanted to talk to someone from over there in China, then I’d have moved over there and found some fella to talk to.  If I wanted to “poke” some friend of mine in another state, then I’d get on one of them fast trains and go over there to “poke” them. My grandkids come over to my house, sit in a chair and play on their little calculator contraptions laughing and ranting for hours. Me and Mrs. Crabby will try to carry on a little conversation with them and ask them about school or their sports and all we get is “Fine” or “It’s all good grandpa.” So last week I asked my grandson to show me this Facespace deal and let me see what it’s all about. He set me up a free account and I right away was reconnected with one of my old high school buddies that I haven’t heard from in decades.  We exchanged a note here and another one there, and that was good enough.  Then, all this week I get these stupid messages from him about helping him with some sort of farm he’s gotten involved with!  I’m thinking to myself, what is that moron doing buying a farm at  his age! Then I found an old Army buddy and we got caught up too.  Another day or two later, I hear he’s gotten involved with the Mafia and wants to know if I’ll help! With a last name like Smith, I never took him to be Italian! But anyway, I’ll tell you what I told my own daughter about this situation. I think you should limit the kids’ time in the virtual world. The doctors say one hour a day is all they need. Like any bad habit, it won’t be fun to break initially, but in the long run I think you will see positive results. Before you know it, you might even see those kids outside visiting with the neighbors and talking with their mouths again!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCra[email protected].