My family spent the past few weeks at our family cabin in Michigan with no television, no phones, and for the most part, no Internet. If we really needed to go online, we had to drive into town and park by the ice cream store to pick up a wifi signal. (I’m on the cone-a-day plan.)

So why cut back on all the technology? There were brown trout right out the back door, and they’ve been eating flies (especially at night). Fishing aside, it’s just plain awesome to sit in a rocking chair on the porch and listen to the currents roll by.

I couldn’t help myself from snapping this photo of my son, Paul, yesterday. He’s a great kid and a gifted young angler, and I don’t want to pick on him, but there he is, thumbing away on a handheld video game. And that ribbon of brown water slightly out of focus in the background happens to be one of the most classic, celebrated trout rivers in the United States. I feel sad about that because when I was a little kid, there were no handheld video games, and I was out there in the river all day, every day.

Is there any way to make real “reality” more appealing than “virtual reality,” or is that genie already out of the bottle?

What should I have done?

  • Snatch the video game and throw it in the river.
  • Take game away and make a deal that he’ll only get it back when he catches a 14-inch brown trout.
  • Make him write “I will not be a dweeb in the heart of God’s Country” 500 times on a chalkboard.
  • Accept that as a sign of the times; go fishing, figuring he’ll join me when he’s good and ready.

Created on Jul 17, 2012

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