PORTAGE la PRAIRIE, MB – Schools are closed and students are hold up at home trying their best to survive the pandemic of 2020, but for teens Kyle and Kyla Windermere, the impact on their internet speed is becoming unbearable.
“Mom is not letting us go hang out with our friends and that really sucks,” Kyle Windermere said. “Staying at home is SO lame I could die. And now the wifi is lagging ALL the time.”
While Kyle may not completely understand that almost dying at home is better than someone getting COVID 19 and actually dying he and his sister seem to at least get they must remain in self-isolation.
“Whatever, being at home is brutal,” Kyla Windermere said rolling her eyes. “I need to face time and snap chat all my friends while I’m watching TikTok videos and binging on Netflix. But my phone keeps glitching and it’s so annoying and Netflix isn’t in HD anymore.”
Carole Windermere had to sit her kids down last night to have a very difficult conversation with them about the real reasons their devices were having issues.
“It was tough,” Carole Windermere said. “My kids have never had to live through such high demand on the internet before. It is very hard on them.”
With millions of people self-isolating(quarantine) all at once and using the internet to stream television, engage on social media and play video games, most internet providers have experienced slow-downs and the occasional brief outage.
“The whole pandemic thing was nothing I was stressing over before but when she told me it was the reason my Play Station was lagging it freaked me out a little,” Kyle shared. “I had no idea it was this serious.”
The teenage siblings were not up on the number of new cases growing here and around the world and were indifferent to the school shut down but the pandemic is hitting them hard now.
“When my laptop freezes up and I can’t download videos right away it gives me anxiety,” Kyla explained. “I heard that old people like my Nanna could die if they get the virus but no one said anything about the wifi sucking.”
With four people living in the Windermere home 24/7 all using multiple devices at the same time, nerves and relationships are starting to fray.
“We have to have endless Zoom and Skype meetings all day long about absolutely nothing,” Brad Windermere said about his job. “When the wifi freezes and I my meeting freezes it’s embarrassing. I have to yell at the kids to get off the wifi until I’m done. That doesn’t go over well.”
Kyle and Kyla take exception to their parents demands for bandwidth during the day and feel their rights as children are being infringed on.
“Dad is such a grump when he’s working from home,” Kyla said. “He has no appreciation for our needs and keeps barking at us to get off the wifi when we need to be on. What else are we supposed to do? They have us locked in here like wild animals.”
“Yesterday I was on an amazing kill streak on Call of Duty when the wifi lagged and I got eliminated,” Kyle offered. “And this morning I was playing Chel when Dad screamed to get off the wifi cause he had to Skype with his boss. The kid I was playing was ready to rage quit but I lost the game because of my dad.”
An internet search for how they could file a human rights complaint about the lagging wifi didn’t provide clear direction but the ever-optimistic teens are hoping someone hears their cry.
“It’s just not fair. We should have better wifi if they want us to help stop this pandemic or whatever,” Kyle said. “Parents just don’t understand. I thought parents were supposed to provide the essentials for kids.”
Kyle and Kyla’s pleas for help are not alone a growing chorus of kids stuck at home is rising and parents and governments would be wise to address their concerns before more drastic actions
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