Parents Are Buying Kids More Jigsaws and Tents in Futile Battle Against Screens

By Gary Cutlack on at

A pathetic attempt is being made by the parents of the nation to wean their pale and listless children off the screens they've been using to keep them quiet, with shopping portal eBay saying it's seeing sales of outdoorsy items like tents and fishing rods rocket – because mum read something on the Daily Mail that says spending 14 hours a day looking at an iPad Mini might not be the best developmental strategy for a child.

These figures have been released by eBay as part of its 2018 UK Retail Report, where it says, for example, that searches for fishing rods were nearly three-times as high this year as they were during 2017, apparently because such outdoors pursuits are coming back into fashion. Maybe also because it was warm enough to go near the water.

It was bad news for any child who had a birthday this summer, as searches for general wooden things designed to be played by families outside where it turned out to be colder than it looked were up across the board too. eBay's spokesperson explained: "Amid concerns over the amount of screen time our children are exposed to, parents are also adopting a 'back to basics' approach to extricate their kids from their tablets, with sales of outdoor activity sets like rounders bats, tennis rackets and boules all up by a quarter year on year."

You've had it good for a few years with your limitless unsupervised screen time there, kids, now GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY BOULES EVEN IF IT'S RAINING because, bloody hell, there's more to life than seeing how someone with a webcam reacts to a Marvel easter egg video.

Elsewhere in the auction site's 2018-so-far data dump it claims to have created 1,065 new millionaires thanks to individuals hitting a sweet spot with their online sales – although that's based on turnover alone. Once postage costs have been taken into account the actual profit could be anything. [eBay]