Paradoxically Stating the Obvious

Coffee.  Is.  Bad.

I know it is.  I don’t need a study to tell me this.  A caveman wouldn’t come across a puddle of hot, black liquid and use it to quench his thirst.

Despite this, I do indulge in coffee because it gives me something to look forward to when I wake up.  It gives me a mental boost to write these articles.

Coffee.  Check.

Like a T-1000 searching for John Connor, I scan the headlines, looking for something to write about.  I find one:

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

It’s only read the headline.  I don’t need to read the rest.  Whether the study was done strictly according to the scientific method, or if it is totally invalid, it doesn’t matter because I already know its conclusion to be true.  Screen time fucks up kids.

Maybe it’s common sense.  Maybe it’s instinct.  I can tell that coffee isn’t healthy for me just by looking at it, and I can tell that giving a preschooler a tablet is a stupid idea.

I got into an argument with a YouTuber recently because I joked about how screens are giving all of our kids ADHD.  He vehemently attacked me.  Called me an idiot.  Insisted there was no link between “screen time” and attention disorders.  Said I should educate myself before I speak.  Taught me that capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and periods at the end of a sentence are strictly optional punctuating characters.  He taught ME THAT TYPING IN ALL CAPS REALLY HELPS TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS!!!

Talking to geniuses on YouTube became too exhausting on that particular day, so I disengaged.  I played the guitar.  I felt better.

Then today my own observations about screens and kids were vindicated by yet another study saying it is very bad to plop our kids in front of a tablet.

Before I talk any further about screen time and kids, I have to talk about my paradox.

Not Sheep Minded was created to “tell it like it is” from our perspective.  It’s about, “Put your cellphone down and use your brain.”  It’s about, “Don’t regurgitate what you heard on Fox News.  Bring your own opinion to the table.”

The business of “telling it like is” using colourful language is at odds with audience retention.  We don’t want to lose followers.  We want to grow in size so we can share our opinions and discussions with an ever-expanding audience.  Unfortunately, sometimes the articles that we are passionate about, the articles that need to be written, are going to offend.

It’s okay.  There are answers in The Bible.  In my article, The Meaning of Life, I talk about The Golden Rule.  In an attempt to solve my paradox, I will do unto myself as I do unto others.  I will offend the shit out of myself, but I will continue to Follow Not Sheep Minded nonetheless, as I don’t miss out on any of the great articles.  Here goes:

“Black Sheep.  You are a stupid, goddamn idiot for drinking coffee.  You know it is bad for you.  It makes your breath stink and it’s bad for your teeth.  It gives you gut-rot and disrupts your sleep.  Why don’t you report to the Prime Dictator for five leaf rake lashings?”

Ah, that wasn’t so bad.  Black Sheep is right.  Maybe Black Sheep will try to give up the coffee.

Okay, now it’s your turn:  If you’re sitting your preschooler down in front of a tablet at for more than five minutes a day, you are a very bad person.  You are not doing your kid any favours.  They are not going to become a genius.  They are going to become something very annoying.  They’re going to stand in the doorframe of Wal-Mart like an orange pylon, looking down, blocking everyone’s way.  They are going to text and drive.  They’re going to waste their most creative years sending stupid memes back and forth.  They’re going to cyber-bully or be cyber-bullied.  They might not even learn how to ride a bicycle.

The good news is, there are things you can do.  Teaching your child to sit quietly in the doctor’s office (without touching your cellphone) will give them something they will need so desperately later in life: patience.  Believe me, they’re going to need a lot of it.

Colouring on the kids’ menu at the restaurant, instead of bugging the waitress for the wi-fi password, might lead them to a career as an artist.  Giving them a box of LEGO is going to help their motor skills a lot.  Staring at Angry Birds will only wreck their eyesight.

“But Blacksheep, they make educational games.”

Yes, they do.  They’re called wooden blocks.  They’re called crayons and paper.  They’re called…


“Oh yes, E-books.  I loaded a bunch of them of the tablet after I downloaded Season 3 of Paw Patrol.”









6 thoughts on “Paradoxically Stating the Obvious

    1. Really? That must have been an interesting conversation.

      The Conservative government in Ontario just banned cellphones in the classroom for all noneducational purposes, starting this fall.


  1. Its funny because the Oxford Internet Institute recently published a study that stated there was very little evidence tp connect screen time with adverse mental wellbeing, even if kids are using screens at bedtime.
    For what its worth, I disagree. Even if an excessive amount of screen time ISN’T harming mental states, its certainly damaging attitudes and warping perceptions among the younger generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a big business selling these screens. We can’t have too many studies showing that they are bad. The telecom companies need to get the kiddies hooked early before they can think for themselves.

      I’m glad you disagree with the Oxford study. To me it goes against common sense. The average device-addicted adult has no attention span, so I have to infer that it will have a similar effect on kids. Actually, I don’t because I have seen it with my own eyes.

      I also agree with your second point. Even if there is no correlation between screen time and mental state, I would still prefer to go to a restaurant and see kids behaving without the aid of what is basically a TV and computer all-in-one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s