Chicago dad Jeremy Reed wrote an op-ed for CBS Chicago on Nov. 5 about his son's "honest-to-god" addiction to an iPad.
Reed said his wife had confronted him about his overuse of technology, as well as their children's. He noted that his 8-year-old son loved using an iPad, but added, "What started as fun for my son turned into a mess of anxiety, stress and countless temper tantrums."
Reed recalled having to take the iPad from his son, who wanted to play video games on it, during a neighborhood block party. He later told his son there was an iPad ban in place for two days, which resulted in Reed being yelled at by his offspring.
"Like a stereotypical drug addict in the throes of withdrawal, my son offered me anything I wanted if I would give him five minutes with an iPad," Reed wrote.
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"It’s an addiction, an honest-to-god addiction that had its grips on my son," he added. "It’s not heroin. It’s not cocaine or booze. It’s an iPad, and we were in the thick of cold turkey withdrawals."
After sharing his experience on Facebook, Reed learned that other families were having similar problems.
"Now that a few weeks have passed, I am happy to report that I’ve got my son back," Reed wrote. "Most of his crippling anxiety and anger has melted away. We’ve held tough on keeping the iPad out of his hot little hands during the week."
"I admit, I enabled this addiction for too long," he added. "I did not want to believe it was a problem. I am now here to say that I was wrong. This addiction is real."
On Oct. 20, Reed wrote on his blog, "Whistling While We Work," about fighting his habit of taking pictures of events with his cell phone instead of participating.
"Last weekend I didn’t take pictures of my daughter’s soccer game (AYSO) on the lakefront, I actually got involved," he wrote. "Granted it was due to the fact that our Ref didn't show and my big butt was 'volun-told' to take the officiating duties by her Coach."
Reed admitted that he had fun being the referee, and added, "I realized that there's more to life than capturing it for a Facebook post."