Black Friday Miscellany

I think it has become blatantly obvious why they call it “Black Friday” in America on the day after Thanksgiving. The blackness of our nation’s character gets put on public display. Exhibit A is this video of Walmart shoppers fighting and clawing one another in pure greed and selfishness to acquire new phones. This short clip should make us all very, very afraid.

 

I can’t stand crowds, particularly when they are comprised of illiterate thugs who will stop at nothing to get more stuff. There isn’t a big enough “bargain” in the world for me to go through that. So on the Fridays after Thanksgiving, I stay home by the fire with a book and let the madding hordes fight it out without me.

There are some calls, as there are every year, to rethink the American Christmas holiday, particularly the gift end of things. It’s obvious that present-buying has been out of control for some time. The expense of the now “must-have” technology has created a situation where parents are expected to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest whizbang iWhatever so their little darlings aren’t made to feel left out in this Tweeting, texting, obsessively technological world. I can’t imagine the shame a child must feel in preschool without the latest Tablet for Tots. (Sarcasm alert!)

There are some like myself who, while they respect technology and appreciate its benefits, feel increasingly left out as the pace of development in technology accelerates. I visited a homeschool site on Facebook and wondered if I had stumbled onto a foreign language site by mistake. The mothers were asking about apps for this and apps for that, talking about Androids, Nooks and Nabi tablets (not the paper kind) and all manner of gadgets. When I was a teenager, Androids were villains on the British Dr. Who science fiction TV series. Apparently, that is no longer the case!

It must be age or fatigue or both, but I find I don’t even want to figure it all out. Call me a troglodyte, but I don’t text, don’t have a smart phone, and find even email hard to keep up with. But reportedly, blogging and email are fast becoming obsolete. We’re all supposed to micro-blog on sites like Twitter, meaning instead of writing a 500-word post on Hope, I would have to condense my posts into 140 characters using a bizarre combination of symbols and misspellings. (Sort of a digital version of what the cavemen used to do on the walls of their stone residences.) I tried Twitter for about 2 days, but I am too loquacious. Now try to use a word like that in a Tweet on Twitter.

Clearly, I have taken a rabbit trail in this post. It is Friday. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. The kids enjoyed their cousins, and my sister and I were able to just sit and chat uninterrupted by kids or schedules. Enjoying time with loved ones is what makes it all worthwhile. Emmy was tucked into bed at 6:45 last evening, napless and utterly worn out from all the excitement. I did not hear from her again until 8am today. Her first words this morning were, “Is it Christmas yet?”

7 thoughts on “Black Friday Miscellany

  1. Glen says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I am using an iPad, but except for that I am pretty much a Luddite. Thank you for your thoughts and the music you post from time to time.

  2. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Thanks so much, Glen! Thanks for stopping by.

    I had to laugh tonight. Noticed this from the homeschool site mentioned above about technology and kids. Here’s what the mom wrote:

    “My girls (3 and 5) love to play on my Kindle Fire and have numerous ABC, math, puzzle, etc. apps. I am considering getting them their own for Christmas so that I can have mine back, but I am worried as to how it would hold up. It will be dropped especially by the 3 year old (mostly on carpet). I was wondering about how the LeapPad 2 compares. Is it pretty impact proof? Are the apps similar? Are there any free apps? We got a Leapster last Christmas, and the touchpad went out almost immediately, so I am kind of hesitant about the LeapPad 2…”

    Now do you see why I feel like technology is passing me by? I have no clue what this mom is talking about!

  3. Lisa Green Kentala says:

    I’m very attached to my desk top computer and they are quickly becoming archaic! While I embraced computer technology fairly early a lot of the current stuff seems unnecessary to me. My son wants an ipod touch for Christmas, which I don’t understand because he already has a smartphone. According to him his smartphone is out of date and can’t access the latest apps. He told me about a game app where you destroy the world as a disease. I could barely understand the premise. ARRGGHH.. Superfluous technology is spinning out of control.

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Lisa, good term. Superfluous. Reading the comments on the site I referenced, what struck me was the sheer expense of keeping up with this stuff. The moms were tossing around terms like $169 for this toddler tablet and $189. How did little children ever learn to read or write or do math without this stuff? I also posted a piece on how the digital revolution is affecting attention spans, and I do believe (not just because I don’t have all the technology) that it does effect it. I’ve always believed that about too much technology, even with TV and videos/DVD’s when those were the primary problems. It’s not point and click now tempting kids, it’s the touch screens for everything. Kids have the attention spans of gnats. I don’t want Emily doing all that until she has developed normally. I believe it effects the wiring of little ones’ minds. Adults think it’s cute when 3-year-olds are using this stuff, but I think it’s rather sad actually, and where in the world do people get the money for all this “superfuous” technology, as you put it so well? These are BABIES for crying out loud. Where do you go from there?

  5. Marilyn says:

    I love technology, my husband and I worked in the field while it was in the beginnings of taking over the world…from way back in the 70s and my husband remained in the field up until very recently. We are comfortable with it, we understand it, but we never plied our children with it!

    I can’t understand the parents who are giving all this stuff to their kids! Even home schoolers, whom I thought were trying to stand against the modern culture, have fallen prey to this new form of slavery. We said “no” to our kids a LOT, never felt the need to do battle for a Cabbage Patch or Tickle-Me-Elmo. It seems bizarre, but now some of my kids are saying “thank you for not giving us everything we wanted”, LOL!

    I do have one of those Kindle Fires, I enjoy using it. But I won it in a contest and would never have bought it (even after using it, I would not actually BUY one). I am not dependent upon it. My husband has a “smartphone” that his employer requires him to use, and it’s wonderful on long car trips…keeps me distracted from my horrible nervousness about my husband’s driving, LOL! But even after using it and loving it, I would not buy it nor pay for the extra-expensive data package.

    When I saw that Walmart riot video, I wanted to be sick. But the actions of those people,and all who went out for Black Friday grab-fests, are just one more symptom of our sick, godless society. It is so sad…

    Ingrid, you always write so eloquently about things! This is a great post.

  6. Mary says:

    Ingrid, I was watching a show recently and this man was talking about all kinds of weird technology and I thought to myself I’m going to become a luddite. I wholeheartedly agree with the caveman analogy regarding tweeting. I use the word hieroglyphics to describe the lunacy of this present age.

  7. lwr says:

    Hi Ingrid,

    I have to admit, I miss not hearing you on the radio anymore, but I guess I have to move on from that! lol

    Let prefice this by stating my job is in IT. Technology is great in some cases no question. Saves lives in healthcare, brings data together easier and all that jazz. However, my personal opinion is that it is being used for nefarious reasons and will be more so in the coming years. For the most part it is being used against people. Also, even in many of those cases, that’s not really good.

    All that data at the fingertips of so many is too powerful for just about everyone. There are some pretty serious articles people should read on wired.com about how this technology is / will be used to spy on you in your house more than likely w/o your knowledge. I’m not sure how many bank accounts were ever hacked, credit scores, billions of dollars, time and effort have been expended before the advent of technology.

    TV’s & DVD players used to that senses who is in the room based on a microphone that picks up on your voices. If you and your spouse are having an argument… up pops marriage counseling ads on your tv screen.

    Here’s another link
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

    Parents giving kids gadgetry do so with the hopes that they will be in the same boat as the kid next door. This isn’t necessarily a bad motive. However, many give it for the same reasons they allow them to watch tv all day long.. babysitting. We are only beginning to see the ramifications of this.

    We know in the end who wins, but… there’s a price to pay in the meantime.

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