Screen Time Cannot Be Worse Than My Dumb And Dangerous Childhood

Whatever you do on a screen, you can’t light it on fire
5 min readJan 26, 2021


We actually lit garbage cans on fire

Amma, stop reading.

When I was a kid we were bored all the time, so we lit shit on fire and did all kinds of dangerous stuff. The hypothetical dangers of screen time are nothing compared to this. Statistics show that young people today drink less and have sex later, but that’s not my point. I’ll just talk about my life. Screen time could not possibly be worse than the dumb, dangerous, and explosive shit I did when I was young.

This is a brief and non-exhaustive list of things that I have done growing up in suburban Ohio, before screen time:

  • Arson
  • Shoplifting
  • Attempted cow-tipping
  • Teepeeing
  • Stealing street signs
  • Dumpster diving
  • Being bitten by raccoons in dumpsters
  • Every drug possible

Please tell me how ‘being stuck in my room all day’ could have been worse than all this. If my parents knew, they would have been thrilled to keep me in my room. Instead our parents told us to ‘go outside’ and outside was boring, unless it was on fire. AMMA STOP READING.

I find it curious that many parents don’t seem to remember their own demented childhoods. I was a nerdy, ‘good’, kid and I was still up to all kinds of mischief. God knows what the ‘bad’ kids were up to. We didn’t have Grand Theft Auto, instead we stole chromies off car wheels. All of them. Nobody could keep a shiny valve cap in Riverpark.

I think people have forgotten what boredom feels like. Today we have that itch of nothing interesting to do, but we’ve forgotten what nothing at all feels like. This feeling consumed my childhood. This led to stuff like combing dumpsters, for entertainment. Once we found a broken TV, took it to the abandoned quarry and lit it on fire. Why? I don’t know. We were bored. Another time we found a raccoon stuck there, tried to help them out, and got nipped for our good deeds. Whatever you do on a computer, it’s not going to give you rabies.



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at