I had to compose this post to keep myself from commenting on a Facebook conversation that I just read which I found troubling and annoying.
I’m going to assume that it was meant in the best way possible but as a semi-outsider reading into the posts I had a really difficult time keeping my fingers off the computer keys and sending snide retorts toward the conversation as a whole.
A FB friend who has a granddaughter just a few months older than my G posted some cute pictures of her granddaughter yesterday during the Superbowl. A few of them show this adorable baby, who always has a smile on her face, on the couch with her dad with football on. This little child is clearly having a great time with her daddy and part of her fun involves a great game of peek-a-boo with her mommy who is on the other side of the couch taking her picture.
Unfortunately, another FB friend, who I don’t know, but who is friends with the grandma sort of went off on a tirade about the horrors of TV and video watching for children. There was a back and forth conversation with lots of official information being passed on about how detrimental TV and videos are for kids, how any exposure to this media can be linked to ADHD and even though implied, just how awful the behavior of this little one was going to be if she was exposed to even one minute of media. The implications that even watching specifically designed children’s shows would encourage all sorts of clandestine TV and video watching alone in her bedroom as this little girl grows into her teen years was stressed because she was being exposed to learned behaviors that had no redeeming value whatsoever. The only acceptable activity for any child is to read, sing, play, and interact with parents and it was obviously a clear affront to this person that the fun, playtime and interaction of the little girl and her family was taking place while the Superbowl was on in front of her.
Okay, so as a sociology major I absolutely agree with learned behavior. I also absolutely agree that we as individuals are influenced, often very negatively by our environment. I also know just how much influence the media has when it comes to shaping our society, our views, our beliefs. I know how some TV and some videos are full of sexist gender stereotypes. I understand the pervasiveness of violence everywhere you look in the media. I even understand how one could analyze media coverage on the Superbowl and focus on the brutal hits, the cheerleaders, the shots of the crowd with their alcohol and Beyonce in her barely-there, almost crotchless costume.
I also recognize that everyone has the freedom to choose how they want to raise a child, which apparently this critical person seems to have forgotten. How do you have the guts to criticize someone to such an extreme level and spout theory about the horrors being inflicted on the young in association with a few benign pictures of a family having fun together simply because the TV was on?
I have no doubt that this little girl will grow up to be just fine. What little she took in about the proceedings on the TV screen will not scar her for life. She doesn’t have idiot parents or family who need a lecture such as was received on this social media site.
Which brings up the question about social media as a purveyor of awfulness itself, but that’s for another post.
I just don’t understand the attitudes of those who seek to place their values and viewpoints so much higher than others without really understanding the entire situation at hand. I do understand having passionate beliefs and convictions, but rather the statistics and journals and American Academy of Pediatrics all agree or not, just give someone a break when the only thing they were trying to do was share a great picture of a family moment that held no harm for anyone.
Pick your issues for sure, but this one shouldn’t have been one of them.