Recently, I came across Dahl’s 1964 classic ‘Oompa Loompa’ poetry, Television, on a friend’s facebook wall. In quintessential Dahl style, he mixes gore and fairytale to warn us about the idiot box:
“They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone’s place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)”
It is uncanny how close to today’s reality his foreboding was. Only that he was basing it all on one screen. At any point in time today, we have at least 3-5 functional screens doing the rounds, in all urban households.
T recognized Baby TV at 3 months, turning her unsteady head towards the screen everytime the familiar concontion of sound and colors came up on the screen. And guess what, it calmed her down bang in the middle of a colic mega-episode. I guess that was the point I said ‘to hell’ with wisdom from the last millenium – I had no way of raising T without screens. It’s my friggin’ babysitter! Go ahead – judge me.
In my lame defense, there ARE restrictions – not more than an hour a day (ok maybe a couple), close supervision of content etc. With Baby TV, I felt safe. Colors, numbers, sounds – it is a cheap playschool really. But one thing led to another and before I knew it, T was rocking 3 different channels on 3 different platforms. And on one of them I discovered a roach character shouting mild profanities at another, in the voice of a popular bollywood star, while beating the hell out of him. Stop, stop, stop – what kind of playschool teaches that?
Now I am wondering when T left Baby TV for the likes of these. While I bid a teary adieu to the safe haven of that channel, please help me with tips to go cold turkey on Baby’s screentime!
Pic Courtesy: Pixabay Free Image Gallery