Recently, I have become increasingly annoyed by a TV commercial.
I know…..what else is new?
This one is jut so damned annoying and hideously insane, I needed to unleash my public loathing.
Picture this: A “normal family” pushed to the limit by their anxieties because their internet connection has been “down” for 13 minutes. They rally the troops and suggest a united front against this danger, much like a family bracing for a flood threat, or an impending tornado. They are terrified and are freaking out, huddling together against this terrifying event. Except for one daughter who has taken to her bedroom, stroking her computer in a dazed media-deprived state saying over and over, “Please come back, I love you, I love you…”
Instead of hunkering down into the basement until the storm passes, they figure they have absolutely nothing else to do (i.e.. talk amongst themselves as a family), their plan B is naturally to pass the time and use binoculars to peep into the windows of a neighbor. Well, of course, what else would a family do, if they were unable to accesses the internet for 13 minutes!! Talk?
The message, of course, is clear…..everyone relies upon the omnipotent internet to access Facebook, News, games, current events, et al. But, seriously…? Are we to accept this suggestion that as a family, we cannot fathom what do do to fill the time of 13 minutes without an internet connection? That a family cannot function without all this outside intervention?
Obviously, the tongue-in-cheek vibe is there. But the message is clear and loud. Families are unfamiliar and uncomfortable interacting with each other, and prefer to retreat to their small intimate circle of internet connections.
I found this so disturbing as to write about it. I am not that old…..my daughters, quite savvy with the internet still remember the times we actually ate dinner all at the same time and discussed our day. My children spoke of school, my husband and I discussed our work day, and we had round-the-table of each’s activities. We talked about what we ate, where it came from, and which foods included what vitamins. It was a time to come together, re-connect and share whatever each needed to share. We had one TV, and as a family we watched family appropriate shows. This was not several generations of past….my daughters are in their 30’s.
I am proud to say, both my daughters continue to prepare dinner with all the family assembled. Video games and TV times are allowed, with adult supervision, but none are allowed to retreat to their bedrooms to immerse themselves into the internet.
When we wonder why we’ve lost connection with our kids and find them surfing inappropriate sites, perhaps we need to re-examine our parenting and try spending more time with them, rather than having them being baby-sat by the internet.