Thursday, April 10, 2014


Should society offer its citizens warning labels- cautionary tales - adverse reaction symbols? Have we as a society become indifferent to the plight of our fellow members? Has our ability to live life peacefully been compromised in a fashion that we can never recover  peaceful and more gentler times?

I often ask myself if technology has been a boon or a bane of our existence... have we created "monsters" of technology, unwitting victims to the unrelenting videos, violence,  and disruptions of kindness. Have we exposed our more friable, impressive minds with so much input, 24  hour technological interference  and bombardment that we are creating a subset of individuals bent on destruction - their own and others.

Have we replaced parenting with technology? I believe in many cases... yes. One only has to glance around in the supermarket, toddlers crying in their strollers while mom gabs on  her cell - chatting amiably while tears run down baby's face.

Teens sit in the back seat texting while mom gabs on her blue tooth. Dad meanwhile outfits offspring with their own tablets for mindless game playing while he surfs emails, sports or internet.   No one is connecting to the person they are physically with,  but instead removing themselves from their geographical location to chat with someone miles away.  We are together but apart even when we are together.  Make sense?  No one is with the person they are with - but instead we are  living in parallel universes - chatting with people not present, while we are present with a real person... makes me crazy....

I am not a TV purist, or an anti information guru determined to suppress or withhold information from the public, in fact quite the opposite - I believe truthful information is powerful and empowering and has helped move our country forward.

What personally makes me cringe and actually panic is the TV/video/media feeds that I am exposed to quite involuntarily  and unexpectedly that throw my mind into revolt and disdain and actual anxiety.  I find it harder and harder and harder to extricate myself from the constant barrage of information, wanted or unwanted - it is there at your fingertips. Forcing you to pay attention - like an alien being taking over your thoughts, you find your eyes flicking back and forth between stimuli.

I have experienced recently the onset of media in my face at the supermarket flashing ads, recipes, information, commercial advertisement while I am forced to wait in line. I actually used to prefer standing quietly in line, just letting my mind wander, checking out the candy selections or the woman in front of me who was wearing very cool sandals.. but now I cannot avoid the input. I cannot turn it off.

At a diner    not long ago I found myself sitting at a booth with a media player on full display, blasting away a variety of tasteless stuff - flicking, flipping to scene after scene, much of it not appropriate for younger patrons. If I were a parent with young children I would have covered the indecency with a napkin.

I found it taking my attention from my friend - constantly pulling me in to look at its mindless ramblings and flashes. Annoying, intrusive and abusive.

I wonder - based on the events of these last few years - the shootings,  and now senseless stabbings at our schools - is it too much? Is it  too pervasive a force that is turning minds that may be impressionable and fragile into rage filled killers and machines bent on destruction.  WHY I keep asking. WHY?

I was working this weekend and had  flipped to an animal channel - National Geographic - safe I thought, pleasant... I looked up to see a cougar headed straight into the bucolic scene of a mother moose caring for her recently born calf... I did not have to finish the scene to know it ended badly and horribly... I could not switch the channel fast enough.

How do we know what this constant death and violence does to young brains?  How can children watch, what seems to be a lovely wildlife feature - only to find that in mere seconds - a cougar has a baby moose in its jaws killing it violently and in great detail for the children to digest.

The problem as I see it is that they cannot digest it. They cannot decipher it and it is disturbing to them.  Combine that with violent video games, and the rest of the mindless chatter we are subjected to daily and I believe it is not in any fashion providing stability to our teens and younger.

I find it so disturbing to watch TV myself I cannot even fathom young children watching  anything without violence now. It's rampant and overwhelming, and I cannot help but wonder how it affects the level of violence we continue to experience.

I brace for impact every day and I watch all things visual with a certain degree of trepidation and with a remote clutched in my hand ready for a quick switch... Sadly we are not offfered to OPTION OUT of the barrage. No, I don't want a table with a media flat screen, NO I don't want to watch this ad while I check out. I want to connect with the REAL world, REAL people and sadly I believe some of these young kids acting out in violence did not have enough of REAL  parenting, REAL people in their lives. .


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