Friday, August 12, 2011
Because Outside is a big, scary place with stuff like wind and bugs!
1. "I thought you were playing with your friends." "I am."
Um, no you are NOT. You are sitting on your ass in front of a fricking computer screen, wasting your life with some stupid video game. You aren't playing- playing involves moving, and (when you do it right) sweating, heavy breathing, and getting dirty or wet while burning calories. And you aren't "with your friends"- that involves eye contact and the development of basic social skills.
2. Not only are Mom and Dad ok with this, but Mom usurps Son's place in front of this generation's Idiot Box to chat with Son's friend's mom. Way to model great behavior there, Mom. But dad is much, much worse- he's actually in the next room (they can't even be in the same room? It's come to THAT?), armed with one of those stupid headsets (used to convince the user that he's doing something of importance and not behaving like a clueless child,) wondering why he and his Son didn't carry out their plan to "storm the castle."
Gee, "storming the castle" seems like it could be kind of fun- if the castle were a tree house, or a snow fort. Because....
3. We can see that all this non-activity is taking place IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. Nothing new- in many of the "its fun to Do Xfinity" commercials, we see entire families sitting their well-fed rumps down to watch television as sunlight streams through the living room window. When I was a kid, my parents would NEVER allow us to be indoors on beautiful, sunny days (or cloudy, cool days. Or basically any time there wasn't a monsoon or blizzard raging.) That didn't mean that we kids were always active- sometimes I would grab a book off the shelf and head for the woods, where I'd sit under a tree all day, reading. But most of the time, being exiled from the house meant days of riding bicycles, playing hide and seek and tag, and basically using our imaginations to invent games to keep ourselves occupied. Sit inside? Not an option. And I don't recall having a big problem with that.
Nowadays, shutting yourself up in the house in the middle of a beautiful day seems an acceptable alternative to fresh air and sunshine, just as "gaming" (gag) seems an acceptable alternative to actual exercise (gee, I just can't figure out how Obesity became the Epidemic of the First World, can you?)
Ok, so Verizon's got this product that they want to sell us, and there's apparently a big market for their "service," because "the average home has more than four internet-connected devices" (and fewer and fewer socially-connected, functioning human beings, apparently.) But please tell me that "families" like this one are rare in real life. Please tell me that in the real world, it's not common for people to isolate themselves like this, substituting points and clicks for running and jumping. Please tell me that in the real world, we are NOT turning into a nation of fat, pale trolls afraid to emerge from our caves no matter HOW brightly that sun is shining.
I mean, if we are so glued to our houses, why did G-d invent cell phones?