Posts Tagged ‘kids

17
Aug
17

New, New, New, New…Reruns?

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Have you ever seen the movie Back to the Future?  And, do you recall the part when Marty, in the past, claims a certain black-and-white TV show is a rerun before the kid in the room asks, “What’s a rerun?”  I find myself revisiting that scene as I realize the perception differences of kids and adults, especially in this modern age of DVRs and internet access to just about everything.

When I was a kid, the family had one TV, maybe two later on when I was nearing my teens.  I didn’t think about reruns.  But, they were there.  I was immersed in SYNDICATION, watching shows that had originally aired about a decade ago but were playing again and again in my day.  I didn’t think much about the strangeness of fashions, makeup or hairstyles.  If the show was black-and-white, it was too old for me.  If the jokes didn’t make sense, I really wasn’t thinking about them.  I was merely watching grown-ups be silly or cartoons in general.  If my family laughed, I considered laughing.  Only one sis ever laughed every time someone else laughed first.  Even at an early age, I would not be the pawn of the laugh track or “live studio audience.”

People would say, “TV rots your brain.”  And, us “rebels” would watch all we could and think nothing of it.  Despite all the TV I watched, it didn’t seem to impact my attention span.  I always thought I was a good student, a good listener.  I became a well-behaved, patient adult.

Nowadays, families have TVs in multiple rooms and some kind of device receiving a signal that can either transmit “broadcast” TV shows or “internet TV”/”web TV.”  They can skip commercials and zip from one show to the next with the flick of a finger.  And, if commercial breaks aren’t littered with mindless ads for cars and services like “wireless” television, at-home education, retirement options and ways to cut corners for the financially challenged (like the only people who should be watching TV are stay-at-home parents, retired folks, unemployed bums and future thieves?)…there’s this constant drive for what’s NEW.  Yet, the promise of NEW is fleeting and makes one feel like a desert wanderer waiting for some chopper to deliver water.

My nephews, possibly as a result, have the attention spans of fleas. They struggle to get through a whole show that may only be 20 minutes long.  They want to know what’s next.  What’s new.  And, though the magic box promises new essentially daily, flashing timers and such to announce the oncoming glimmers of delight, the actual NEW is kinda like expecting a response from a letter to Kris Kringle.

They are dazzled by the commercials I, now as an adult, would rather skip.  Truth be told, most commercials aren’t as nearly entertaining as they were when I was little.  But, maybe it’s just a matter of perspective?  These lame ads I see are new to them, not me.  Well, some are new to me but annoying to watch over and over.  Heck, I don’t remember getting tired of seeing certain commercials as a kid.  I didn’t look forward to commercials, either, but they were rarely if ever bothersome.

And, while I grew up not minding or even noticing reruns, these kids may or may not notice reruns.  But, once they DO realize they’ve seen something before, their reactions are mixed.  Sometimes, they want to see the same show, again (provided it’s something they have watched in the last few days or weeks, as they like to replay even the shortest of video clips).  Or, I hear them sounding like adults when they say, “This one, again?  Why isn’t it a new one?”

As a big kid myself, I think of a not-so-old episode of Teen Titans Go! in which Robin warns the other team members about “the spicy life,” the pursuit of increased spiciness.  People get tantalized into chasing NEW to keep the economy flowing and, consequentially, stimulating impulse shopping (which often empties people’s pockets to the point of concern/neglect).  It’s not healthy to anything but the economy, and even that is questionable.

The promise of NEW.

Why can’t we be comfortable with what we already have and enjoy?  As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”  And, if it needs fixing, let’s work that out.

It doesn’t take a genius to see people are struggling to keep coming up with new ideas in some areas.  Maybe they’re burnt out.  Instead of replacing them, maybe we just need to relax and get comfortable with…dare I say it…routine.  And, let new ideas be a blessing from above, not something we force from the cow for fleeting profits.

 

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14
Feb
17

Heart-to-Heart Conversation Heart Conversations [Comics]

conversationhearts-hearttoheart-chat-comics_alloutofloveme-bedtime_ap-1100700-1j

Possibly my last creative effort for this year’s season of love (and foul moods from the absence or abuse of love).  Enjoy a little fallout between a couple of candy hearts.

09
Feb
17

Hey, All You Online Video Stat Chasers!

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I think I finally figured out why some online/viral videos get so much attention and why stat numbers are so high.

It’s not because that many grown people are actually sitting through them hundreds or even thousands of times.  It’s because kids like my nephews–who are not even five years old–are tapping their tiny fingers on the images and links incessantly with their attention spans the size of fruit fleas.  They watch twenty seconds of a video, at most, before scrolling to pick another.

So, if you encounter a video with ridiculously high “views,” you now know better.

19
Mar
16

Educational Kids’ TV? Overrated

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As I attempt to watch one more day of “educational” kids TV with my nephews whilst keeping them busy (out of trouble), I am unable to resist the urge to fuss and fume.  Why?  Because every show is introduced with some sort of listed ingredients that are supposed to be good for a child.  As if parents are just going to approve the shows from this brief and horribly worthless synopsis?

  1. The educational content is lacking.
  2. Some of the shows are completely ridiculous/without good and/or common sense.

If anything, these shows are convincing me to NOT place a child in front of the TV.  But, juggling a handful of boys who all want to do different things at the same time and who will fight with each other if you don’t sit in the middle of them…is no easy task.  Sadly, it’s either TV or a laptop computer as a second babysitter.  And, it really grinds my gears.

If you’d like a list of shows I’d rather not see on television, just ask.  I don’t feel like pointing fingers publicly at the moment.  But, it may happen, yet.  I’m looking at YOU, Nick Jr. (among other channels).

18
Feb
16

Kudos, McDonald’s, for Thinking Outside the Box

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When I was still technically a kid, Happy Meals came in colorful plastic boxes shaped like UFOs and train cars.  You could put stickers on the windows that featured the McD’s cast of characters.  And, when Monopoly season blew into town, you could ask for free pieces at the service counter.

Nowadays, there are no free game pieces to request.   But, Happy Meals are gaining new appeal with their innovative designs…even if the boxes lack something to be desired.  My nephews just got some Transformer toys which are not the best but decent.  But, what makes the package as exciting as the toy is how the toys and boxes are designed to respond to/with “smart phones.”  On the My Little Pony side, you can fold out a stage for the ponies to show themselves off and light it up with your phone’s light feature(s).  On the Transformers side, you get a target to punch out and hit with your toy’s missile.  I kinda like the Pony side better.  But, both are clever uses of an otherwise discarded/recycled box.  Plus, the latest toys have some sort of scan feature that lets you access a game with your phone/mobile device.

That sure is thinking outside the box.  Way to go, McDonald’s.

I should also mention a previous promotion featured a pack of folding valentines and a mini story book.  THAT was an awesome treat to go with a kid’s meal.  Let’s see more of that.  [And, bring back the cool plastic boxes shaped like vehicles.]

25
Sep
13

Do It Right or Not At All

This comic strip (sent to me by an acquaintance) sums up my childhood, growing up with perfectionist parents who couldn’t teach us kids how to be responsible without making us feel completely hopeless. If we couldn’t do it THEIR way, we couldn’t do anything. If we tried to copy them, we were never right. If the task was deemed too dangerous, we were made to fear it. Eventually, none of us did any chores or earned any allowance. We were just poor fools.

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30
Jul
13

Likes or Cooties?

When I was a kid, cooties was a huge topic of concern. Cooties was the one thing you didn’t want tarnishing your reputation. And, once word got out that you had cooties, you had to act fast. Or, no one would want to be around you.

Well, nowadays, LIKES are the new cooties. Only, instead of being a bad thing, it’s something grown-up kids and kids alike seem dying to contract. If you don’t get enough LIKES, you’re a nobody.

I guess anyone who doesn’t regularly use a certain unnecessarily trendy website no longer matters to the media. Every known company who’s anybody has a “page” there. Celebrity talk is all about the “tweets” these days. [I doubt they write their own.] That must mean they’re cool. [And, the age of the average “celebrity” in the news seems to dropping rapidly.]

If you don’t know what a LIKE or a TWEET is and are still breathing, go dig your own grave. If you are over the age of 35 and unfamiliar with social media (as they call online interaction on various news-injected blog sites and message boards), plan your funeral now. Because, you’re dead to television and (likely) newspapers as well.

It seems even the biggest “news” programs (like “Today” and “Good Morning America”) and talk shows are resorting to internet trending topics instead of reporting strictly on the facts and figures (in their usual, over-dramatized and fear-inducing way). Funny web videos are the new news clips, and discussing how many likes something found online gets seems more important than than the story itself.

I’ve also noticed more commercials for adult diapers and gummy vitamins for adults because–apparently–adults aren’t taking their vitamins. What’s next? Kids babysitting their parents?

Grow up, people! Get your news from the horse’s mouth. Learn how to use a toilet and change your underwear responsibly. Eat your fruits and vegetables locally grown. And, get some genuine sun with sensible protection. Or, I’m telling your mother.

 

~A. P. Writingbolt, 7-30-2013




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