The pandemic tension in my house reached its peak this summer the night my dad switched off the Wi-Fi. He claimed that “You spend too much time on your phones and not enough time with the family! I never had the internet when I was your age; we used to play on the streets.”
With all due respect, when he was my age — 16 — it was the 1980s, and the world was not in the middle of a pandemic. My parents are doctors who have both had the virus and are well aware of the impact of this pandemic. Dad is just saying what many parents say because they are unsettled by how much time my generation spends online. But teenagers are wired to be social, and right now the internet is one of the few places we can safely socialize.
Later that evening I sneaked downstairs with my 8-year-old brother to switch the router back on. But it was being heavily guarded — it was in our dad’s study, where he was working. The next day I awoke early and immediately checked to see if we were back online. No, we weren’t. In fact, the whole box was gone! My dad had taken it to work with him that morning. I was speechless. Who turns off the internet? Apparently quite a lot of you, a search of Twitter told me later, once I had internet access again.