Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Two Cents: the "Pepper Hacker"

By now you have probably seen the above video floating around your Facebook feed. It is a video of the "Pepper Hacker", a pepper grinder turned technology atom bomb from Dolmio (they make pasta sauce). Pretty much everyone who I have seen share this video has said something along the lines of "Yes!" or "Such a great idea!"

Ummm... I think it is a terrible idea. Why? Because to me, this is a loop hole for parents to avoid being the bad guy in a very simple parenting situation.

I was born in 1988. I remember the time before the internet and I remember when it became a big thing. I remember the horrid dial-up tone, "You've got mail!", and AOL disks. I remember when cell phones really took off in technology. When they started to have texting, when you could play games on your phone, and "Can you hear me now?". But, since all the bigger leaps in the digital age came along when I was in high school, my parents never had to compete with having a screen in mine and my sibling's faces.

But I can tell you how they would have handled it if they did have to deal with it. They would say, "Hey, Maureen, it's dinner time. Put the phone away and set the table." And if that didn't work, "Shut it down or I'm taking it away for a week." And the phone would go away, I would set the table, and we would have a tech free meal.

So I'm confused why parents can't do this now. Is it because so many parents want to be their kid's "best friend"? Or is it because they, too, are busy with there own digital device?

I'm totally guilty of overindulging in technology too. I've caught myself with my phone in hand as I sit down to dinner or saying "Just a second" to my daughter as she tries to get my attention. But I consciously make an effort to make those occurrences as rare as possible (with a aim to eliminate it all together).

Maybe the issue is we start technology too young. I had my first cell phone in middle school. It was the old indestructible Nokia with a limited amount of time on it and was only used in an emergency or to let my parents know when to pick me up from school after some activity. Now it is common occurrence to see 2 year olds with their OWN iPads and elementary kids with iPhones!

I'm not saying kids shouldn't be around technology. It does come in handy. When we flew with Arlette a couple of months ago from CT to CO to visit family we had a LOT of issues getting out there and back home (delays and cancelations and everything in-between). The one thing that saved us was having Frozen on my iPad, iPhone, and computer for her to watch.

But technology should NEVER substitute parenting. That's why I find the Pepper Hacker ironic, I guess. You are using technology to shut down technology.

Just my two cents. What are your thoughts on the matter?

From CT to CO and back we watched Frozen at least 25 times.


  1. I hadn't seen this video yet, but I know I'm guilty of using technology too much. I was born in 1987 so I totally know what you're talking about. I didn't have anything more than a track phone until my senior year of high school and didn't get unlimited texting til college (cause my sister spent $90 on texting in one month haha). We don't have kids yet but just between my husband and I we need to put down our technology a lot more.

  2. I completely agree. My daughter is three and we limit her screen time as much as possible. I let her play on my phone in the car or when waiting for appts but never just because!

  3. Preach it mama!! I feel the exact same way. I'm going to try my darndest to find the balance for elliott while he grows up because it really is getting out of hand. Parents are scared to upset their kids... Um you're the parent, be a parent! Jeesh.

    This was the first I've seen of that video though and it's hilarious, getting me one of those just for fun, freaking out family and friends hahahaha

    1. It would be a lot of fun to do at a friend or family member's house just to get everyone all upset. Or, even better, sneak it in your purse to a restaurant during a game and give it a twist. ;)

  4. YES!!! A thousand times, yes!!! We limit our two year old's screen time and didn't even let him watch TV until just a couple of months ago (and that's only on the computer with Netflix - we don't *actually* have a TV anymore). I agree that technology has it's place and I don't want my son to be technologically illiterate, but the screen is no substitute for mom and dad!

    Also, I've nominated you for a Liebster Award!!! I really enjoy your blog and totally think you deserve it! Read my post here http://www.reinventingjess.com/2015/04/the-liebster-award.html

    Can't wait to read more of your stuff :D Jess

  5. I hadn't seen anything about this yet but I totally agree with you!! How about we stop worrying about being our child's bff and be their PARENT?!

    1. You should see the crazy looks I get from parents when I say that sometimes. It's like being a parent is the wrong thing to do.