On The Computer and Male Bonding

My parents seem to take issue with me being on the computer. I’m not entirely sure why.

Recently I was able to get them to stop using the word “addiction” when talking about the computer. I cited the fact that when it was time to eat, go to bed, or go to work, I bloody well get off my computer and go do those. An addict wouldn’t.

My dad then responded with a remark to the effect of “the majority of your discretionary free time is spent on the computer.”

Okay.

The obvious question I have is, so what?!

Discretionary free time means I choose what I get to do during it. And I choose to use the computer. Yeah, supposedly being outside is healthy. I hate outside. I mean really hate it. There’s way too much sunlight, spiky plants that ooze irritating chemicals, dog dung, dead mice, all manner of insects doing their best Dracula impression and I live in a neighborhood with loads of annoying small children.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason mankind put so much effort into perfecting inside. If I spend too much time outside I’m disgracing the memory of people who worked so hard to give us air conditioning, electricity, internet, and fuzzy carpet. I think those people deserve better than that.

On a more serious note, getting outside is supposedly very healthy. Good for it. I have no particular interest in being at the peak of perfect health. Sure, I understand the need for exercise, I just ignore it. I take the occasional (VERY occasional) walk, and as far as a shut-in like me is concerned, that’s good enough. I have the right to decide to be inside considering how much I hate outside.

Now, despite the rhetoric I’m in the habit of spouting, I don’t outright hate sports or people who partake in outside activities. When it comes down to it I’m fine with them having their interests so long as they don’t expect me to give two bits. I rarely expect people to give two bits about the difference between Scyphozoa and Cubozoa and frankly, the world’s probably better for it.

One thing that this has engendered, I suspect, is no small amount of resentment towards my dad. After all, it seems a bit hypocritical (on the surface) for him to get on my case about video games when he could spend six hours playing Joust back in the day. Frankly, what I wish he would do is give up on the “modern games are too complicated” thing and learn to play a free game like Roblox or Team Fortress 2. I was on Roblox the other day and ended up playing with a father-son duo and was thinking, “Gee, I wish my dad would do that with me.”

I mean, sure, he’s offered to play golf with me. But I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do than play golf, and beating myself in the head with a crowbar is near the top of that particular list. And yes, he’s offered to play paintball and play with RC stuff, but neither of those things have really borne much fruit yet and both take significant investments of time or money to start up. Video games are an interest of both of ours’ (Dad’s nickname in college was Pac-Man) and don’t have a huge startup cost in either time or money. Plus they can be done inside, which is always a bonus in my book.

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4 thoughts on “On The Computer and Male Bonding

  1. Just saw on the news last week that they are saying it is good for the children to be on the computer. Do a check on KCAU or KTIV, Sioux City and maybe you will find the link. I thought of you right away and meant to tag it but time got away from me.

  2. I like your posts… they help me to understand you better. Even if I don’t agree with everything you are saying.

    Love you,
    Dad

  3. I used to be an afficionado of outdoor activities – camping, fishing, baseball, car racing, volleyball, etc., etc. Now I am locked into my recliner with my iPad, Kindle, iMac and reading 1 or 2 books a day (not “See Spot Run”). So I understand your desire for GOOD experiences. It just took me 65 years to figure it out.

  4. I think a lot of aspies born after 1990 find the internet and video games to be soothing exercises and thus its a common part of life now. While I understand your objections to going outside, there are reasons to do that, nonetheless. You might avoid it because of sensory issues or anxiety but those are things that can usually be overcome with more exposure. The issue of health is also a concern as well as building athletic ability. You can engage in sports activities alone or with other people. Shooting hoops can be a fun way to gain skills in basketball. It can also be fun to play friseebee or other sports to learn about working as a team and building skills in social interactions. I understand some of that can be done on-line too. Many of these tasks not might sound enjoyable but that is something that we must do to gain skills and build relationship. The other people have to engage in the same awkward situations and try to learn from it. Spending time with your dad playing golf provides a time for you two to get to know one another better in a fun setting. I wish my dad did stuff like that. anyway, its good to know what you want but there are skills and experiences that you can gain from going outside and the bumps, bruises and bug bites are part of it and life in general.

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