Monday, February 25, 2013

TV zombies

We were in Oman for the weekend. One of the nights, we stayed at a hotel in Sohar. And that hotel had a little something called TELEVISION. I'm going to try to say this in as unsanctimonious a way as possible, but we do not have TV at our house. Like many of you, I'm sure - it seems like TV is not so much a given these days because of the ubiquity of DVDs and Netflix. I mean, we have A TV at our house, but it's in the under-the-stairs playroom and is only hooked up to a DVD player. For their entire lives, my kids have understood that to watch something on a TV is to be able to pause it and rewind it and put in something else if you want to, at any time.

Well, TV in a hotel doesn't work that way. You flip through the channels (ooooooh) and if something looks good, you watch it for a while but don't blink because you can't rewind it (wow!). After one show is over, another one comes on. AUTOMATICALLY. With fancy, loud, bright commercials in between. And sometimes there are whole channels devoted to addicting kids to their content (a channel called "Playhouse Disney" at the hotel) and our girls could not. look. AWAY. They were TV zombies.

It was amazing. They were watching TV. Jeremy and I were watching them watch TV. And even though that was four whole days ago, which is a loooong time for a four-year-old, Magdalena cannot stop asking about TV, and when we can go back to the hotel and watch some more, etc. etc. I suppose it's just as well we don't have it at home because I don't think I'd hear the end of it.

Or the novelty would wear off and it would be just another entertainment option. Whichever.


Tia said...

Our girls still don't get that a TV works without a DVD player connected to it. They have watched real television a few times and just get annoyed with commercials and complain about them.

Glenda The Good said...

All of our media is neflix related so my kids complain about "loading" not about commercials. For the most part I'm super glad because I realize commercials are like the gateway drug to consumerism, I mean shoot every time I watch Downton I suddenly get the urge to go on a cruise, but when Christmas comes around and I say, "Hey what do you want for Christmas" and they say, "What is available" (kid you not, it was Captain E) I think maybe a few commercials would be ok :) TV does totally turn us into Zombies. As a child who also grew up without a TV I total thought hotels and friend's houses were the best because it was fun to just zone out, but now as an adult I think, wow my childhood was so much more interesting because I had to make my own fun. Meanwhile the in-laws have the TV going all day including through dinner. So boring :)

Glenda The Good said...

I should add though that I spend way to much time on my phone and my computer. SO as awesome as I think my childhood was I have totally become a PHONE ZOMBIE!

Glenda The Good said...

Darn you Steve Jobs!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I think we did pretty good keeping the TV in proper perspective in our house while you were growing up. TV time was limited and we pretty much ignored advertised stuff on commercials. One time Steven read an article that said the average American watched something like 7 hours a day. His comment was, "wow, somebody somewhere watches a lot more than that to make up for us." Because sometimes we went weeks without turning it on.

Some of your cousins grew up w/out TV. But then every time they visited where there was a TV, they were glued to it when everyone else wanted to play with them.

Sarah Familia said...

Same story at our house. When we stay at hotels, my kids always ask us to pause the TV show so they can go to the bathroom.

Liz Johnson said...

I used to babysit a couple of kids who didn't have a TV, and if I ever just wanted them to calm down, I'd turn on PBS. They were RIVETED. Much like the zombies you describe. It was awesome. :)


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