Recently I was browsing through a local newspaper and came across some articles; one was about child friendly MP3 players and featured a picture of a small baby ‘listening’ to music with headphones. The other article was about secondlife.com – an online imaginary world.
This all left me wondering if all this modern technology is what is really wrong with the world today. Call me odd, but I firmly believe that society started going off the rails with the introduction of television and has gone downhill at an alarming rate since. It used to be that several generations of families would stay together and look after each other. Grandparents looking after little ones so parents could work the land tend the animals. Parents would take care of grandparents when they got too old to fend for themselves. Most things would be done as a family, and everyone had a part to play. Nowadays it’s everyone for themselves, our kids are shipped off to daycare and school before they are old enough to object, they are no longer a valuable part of the family unit where they have a part to play and chores to do, they are superfluous. The older generation is even less important, they are put in old age homes and all but forgotten.
Has life really gotten better, or are we just living in a virtual fool’s paradise while the planet is destroyed?
Used to be people would sit around the dinner table and discuss the day’s events while they had dinner, now they all sit around the TV. With both parents most likely working, just when do these families find the time to spend quality time together, or do they? Has the alarmingly high divorce rate or, the fact that young adults leave the family home just as soon as they can with barely a backward glance have something to do with this lack of family time. Have we traded our families for convenience? While most people will argue that they work so that their families can have a better life, would those families in fact not have a better life with less luxuries and more family time?
Things just aren’t what they used to be; now I am not saying that everything was better in the days before TV. There was a lot of injustice – towards women, towards people of colour, and often children, but why can’t society take the good from progress and reconsider the bad?
Most people believe that they have to go ‘out and work’, in the vast majority of families both parents work outside the home, while children are left in daycare. It should not necessarily be mother’s job to stay home and raise the kids, but should not one parent be around at least part of the time? Should we not be bringing up our kids instead of working our fingers to the bone making others rich, because if you think about it; that is what most of those ‘out there working’ are doing. They are not the ones reaping the benefits of their labour, instead some large corporation or business owner is, they bring home a paycheck which is not really enough and live from month to moth.
All this in the name of progress. I would rather my kids survive without that new MP3 player they are far better off feeding chickens and tending the veggie garden. As for me, I can really do without an imaginary online world; I actually have a life I love – with my kids and husband.