Addiction to Screens (Laptop/TV/Smartphone)



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This is about my younger brother who has graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration around 6 months ago. He is 22 years old.

6 months have passed and nothing happened at the personal development level. He chose to be lazy and sit all day long, each and every day since graduation, on his laptop, browsing social media, soccer sites, or downloading and watching movies. When he is tired of the office chair, he moves to his parents bedroom and lies on the bed to watch TV, while tinkering on his smartphone.

During lunch or dinner, the smartphone is always there. The meal is consumed hastily in order to resume the laptop/TV routine as soon as possible.

Same story, every single day. My parents, being technologically un-savvy, believe that when someone is on his/her laptop that means he/she is busy and we should not interrupt. Yes, they are very easy on him and are not aware of the issue. My father would say that my brother will resume his normal life as soon as he finds a job. But it is the other way around, he wont find a (decent) job if he continues like that with zero personal and extracurricular skills, and even if he did, it will be a matter of time before he squeezes in his laptop/TV/Smartphone routine after the working hours, at the cost of self maintenance, hygiene, skills development, socializing, exercising, breathing fresh air, etc…

I am sad and it kills me watching my young brother shooting himself in the foot at this early age, at a crucial time of his life where he should be having real fun out there, exercising his hobbies, learning new skills, meeting people, working part time, joining organizations and NGOs etc…

I am not saying he should go out and work and make money, the market “”may”" be tough on lazy people, but time is a valuable resource that cannot be replenished. He has absolutely no sense of time.

Why dont I talk to him? He is 22 but still have the mindset of a 14 year old. Any attempt to talk him out of the laptop/TV/Smartphone routine would trigger a nervous and angry behavior, coupled with responses like “don’t interfere with my privacy”,” I know what is best for me”, “none of your business”, “not everything has to be the way you like”.

I am 29, employed, have 2 degrees, been here and there, and planning to travel soon. I want him to be half as active. Half as keen to promote his self development and engage life with confidence rather than hiding behind screens.

What to do?

Many thanks for your time.

Category: Tags: asked December 9, 2014

1 Answer

Maybe you can start out small and involve him in family activities like backyard bbqs and football parties hosted at your house where it's almost required for one to participate. If absolutely necessary you can try getting on his level and start talking to him about things he finds interesting online and slowly introduce him to others who are moderately interested in the same type of topics.