As a child I was often told not to sit too close to the television. I was told it was bad for me, but I never really understood why. Eventually, I decided to ask why it was bad for me and was told with typical Irish flair that it would make the eyes rot out of my head.
Having been allowed to watch Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark by my uncle at a young age, I imagined this would mean my eyes would melt out like the Gestapo agent’s at the end of the film.
I was a dramatic kid.
But aside from reasonable concerns about my eyesight, I’m pretty sure my parents were worried about the amount of time I was spending inside glued to one screen or another. I ended up needing glasses anyway, but I think I understand what they were worried about.
I needed a little less time inside and a little more outside making friends. In the end, I did pull myself away from the TV long enough to manage a few grazed knees and a handful of friendships.
I miss my old life and I miss meeting people
I still love a good bit of TV or a videogame today, but now that I’m older I find I prefer to focus on meeting people ‘for real’ whenever I can. Except, instead of my parents pushing me out the door for fear of my eyes liquifying, the Dutch government is telling me to stay indoors and forget about making friends and having fun for a while.
Now, instead of going out and meeting people, I’m told that videogames are really a better option for a bit of fun now. I’m not even really allowed to go to the library, because I have a nice laptop so why would I bother leaving?
The younger me is sitting somewhere in the back of my mind cursing me for living in such a dreamland, even worse still is the fact that I’m not really enjoying it.
Of course, the Dutch government and the UG aren’t really uniquely persecuting me. All around the world people are suffering the same fate (except for those lucky Aussies & Kiwis down under). I respect the corona rules too, I see the good they can do. But I miss my old life and I miss meeting people, a lot more than I missed Playstation when I was ten.
I think I might still be a bit dramatic, though.