Family ties hinder by modern gadgets


I resent modernity because it hinders parents-children communication. Children’s dexterity and adults ineptitude with modern gadgets are the effects of modernity. You have but to hold one of those gadgets, lets say a remote control, to perceive its malign effect on the interaction between the old and the new generations.

A few days after buying a Video Recorder, I asked my Junior High School son if he knew how to use the remote control that came with it. “I need to record a football match,” I said. Without looking at me, he told me to push this button, and that button, and that one too. Everything went well and I was able to record the ‘match’, but when I asked him how he knew which buttons to push, considering that the VCR was new; he answered me with contempt. Yes, with contempt. To me, the all-knowing, all-powerful Mr. Dad.

“Dad”, he said, “the remote control is easy to understand.” But I completely and confusedly disagree. This remote control has 3,497 functions. It controls in 4 languages, it controls every electronic in the house, it can take the dog for walk, and it even has an ‘Assistant’. No joke. The ‘malign control’ has a dark blue button on the top right clearly marked, ‘Assistant’. I have not push it yet, because I ignore the manufacturer’s charge if we call the ‘Assistant’. Besides, if the ‘malign control’ were so easy to use, why the hell we need an Assistant?

I thing electronic gadget’s manufacturers are irresponsibly widen the gap between generations. These manufacturers build modern systems, refrigerators, TVs, sound systems, etc., with so many functions that only a person with plenty of time, puberty curiosity, fast fingers, and acne can handle them. They are very adult-unfriendly. And manufactures packed all the darn functions inside unfriendly remote controls that a computer engineer degree is necessary to make them work.

I experienced first hand ineptitude with modern gadgets. One sunny day around noon, I pushed the buttons of the ‘malign control’ trying to turn the TV on. It worked. But the VCR also switched on, and from the 70 inch LCD display a porno film came to life. It was not just a porno film; it was THE porno film. The world famous in Japan ‘The lady of the rings, or how deep throat robes Hobbits off their precious one.’ I had rented the video, by mistake, and forgotten to take it off the VCR.

It would have been a minor matter. But while I was still trying to change channels or something, Mrs. Wife and children entered the house with their usual loudness, rushing back from Mrs. Wife shopping spree. They suddenly stop. No words, no movement, no sound, and yes inquisitive eyes. The atmosphere filled with two adults and three children looking exorcised at a TV screen. For no apparent reason the shopping bags fell off Mrs. Wife’s arms.

Mrs. Wife looked mesmerised the 70 inch LCD display. And at the very moment when the Lady of the rings performed her hideous deed, Ms. Daughter said dirty Dad, dirty Dad. Mr. Junior High’s face shining like a sunny day and I thought I saw an irregular thing protruded his groin. And Mr. Elementary School had a huge insane smile and pushed me away from the TV; he wanted to see more.

Mrs. Wife, grab the remote control out of my hand. “CHILDREN…TO YOUR ROOM NOW. AN YOU…” she said while pushing buttons on the ‘malign machine’. I knew I was in trouble. I recurred to the last option. I recaptured the remote control and did what no sane person should do: I pushed the red button…

I spend the rest of the day apologising and with my dignity worse than the Hobbits after the Lady of the Rings robbed them off their precious one. Is not that I saw the video, but a friend told me how it ends.

From that sad day on, I have to wash the dishes daily, and Ms. Daughter don’t talk to me, and Mr. Junior High talks nothing but how he wants to get ‘one of those’ as soon as possible, and Mr. Elementary School despise me, and Mrs. Wife calls me ‘lascivious fool’, and I am obliged to massage her feet for life or else.

Yes, I resent modern gadgets. And what I resent the most from this incident, is how modernity hinders parents-children communication. And that I am banned to go within two kilometres of a video rental shop.

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