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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

54

Kids, TV, Obesity

I'll take your kid's TV if you want. Also, 70% of kids have TVs in their bedrooms? What! When I was their TV I uphill both ways the whole thing. It's also sort of like that old Far Side cartoon.

54 Comments / Post A Comment

abundy

GIRL IN THE PICTURE IS A BALLER

telling_everyone

@abundy I'm convinced there's wine in that glass. snapshot of a perfect evening.

NeenerNeener

Edith, are you okay?
Am I okay? I don't know anymore.

cuminafterall

We were not allowed to have TVs in our bedrooms, or food for that matter. I smuggled Halloween/Easter candy and watched DVDs on my computer.

fondue with cheddar

@cuminafterall Me too, only I didn't have a computer because it was the early eighties and we were not wealthy or techy enough to have a "personal computer". When I was in high school we did get a second, tiny TV that they stuck in a weird corner of the living room. It didn't have a VCR but it did have a Super Nintendo.

In my room, I did have an all-in-one mini stereo with record player, AM/FM radio, and dual cassette deck with remote control. And my own phone. It was THE SHIT.

Springtime for Voldemort

@cuminafterall Me too. I once bought like 20 bags of Halloween candy on November 1st, and hid ("hid") them all under my bed. Despite being blatantly obvious, my mother never said a word, and I think at that point she'd given up a bit.

They did give me my own computer when I was 13. Not a shared one in the basement with my sister, my own one. And there, I learned to illegally download Friends, and could watch tv and read smutty fanfic to my heart's content. When I was 15 or 16, I bought a 5x5 black and white tv that I hid under my bed, to watch the Friends episodes I couldn't find online after everyone had gone to sleep. 10pm=Friends time.

fondue with cheddar

@Springtime for Voldemort Man, if I'd had a computer with internet when I was a kid I would have wasted my whole life. I'm so glad there was no internet when I was 13. Well...there was internet, but it was far from ubiquitous.

Springtime for Voldemort

@fondue with cheddar I totally did waste my entire life on that computer. But a lot of it was cuz home life was so shit, so I didn't want to go outside my room. Plus, having to figure out how to track down that one story you read like 3 years ago on an Angelfire webring is actually a great way to teach someone research skills, which are rather handy later in life.

cuminafterall

@fondue with cheddar Yeah, my dad is a total computer geek, so by 1996 I had a computer with email (but no Internet browser) in my room. Nobody to email with, but still.

fondue with cheddar

@Springtime for Voldemort Yeah, research skills are definitely handy. There is both good and bad in it, for sure.

@cuminafterall Having email but nobody to email with must have sucked! I started college in 1992, and a year or so later was my first real introduction to the internet. My exposure to the internet prior to college was exactly two occasions: 1) my friend's dad in the mid-80's had a computer in his home office with one of those old something-baud modems you had to dial into with an actual phone, and 2) my senior year of high school I was at my friend's boyfriend's house, and he was using Prodigy to get some kind of information on something. It took a really long time, and he printed out what he found. I didn't understand what Prodigy was or was going on at all.

LacunaKale

TVs in the bedroom were a major status symbol when I was kid. A step above having a phone extension i your room, but below having your own phone line.
In other news, I'm old.

fondue with cheddar

@LacunaKale Yes! My friend not only had a TV in her room in 6th grade, but she watched soap operas on it. I thought she was so grown up.

But she did not have her own phone line, which I did have.

Springtime for Voldemort

@LacunaKale Yeah. My parents were rich, and we lived in the rich neighborhood, so I felt actively punished that I didn't have a tv like all the other kids. I think I would have been much more understanding towards "we can't afford it" than "you are not allowed to have it".

Angelena@twitter

@LacunaKale exactly the same situation for me and I'm 22 so wondering how old you are?? haha.

Steph

@LacunaKale I wanted a phone in my room SO badly and my parents would never give in! I asked for one for like 3 christmases straight. I can't even remember why I needed one so badly I just...did.
Now all the kids have cell phones so it's a moot point I guess.

maybe partying will help

Man, I can hear my mother's disapproving sniff from 700 miles away. She hates television. She raised me to hate television. I got to college and found out HOW AWESOME IT IS and have been making up for lost time ever since.

But I still don't have a TV in my room.

PistolPackinMama

@maybe partying will help my parents wouldn't pay the TV License tax you needed to have to get a TV in England, and when we moved to the States, they just wouldn't bother.

I think this is less like/dislike TV and more just had other things on their minds. We got my mom a fancy flat screen TV because she said she wanted one to watch the Royal Wedding... and then she missed it because of some meeting or other she had.

I think she might have watched some of the Olympics.

I find this complete lack of interest in TV to be hilarious, and effective. No teaching about anything. Just... not interested.

Slutface

I had a tv/vcr combo and cable. I used to tape The Mickey Mouse Club and Kids Incorporated so I could teach myself all the dances to perform for my mom.

fondue with cheddar

@Slutface Haha, gotta love TV/VCR combos.

My brother had a boom box with a tiny black and white TV in it. The screen was like 5 inches, and it had a cassette deck and radio. I was so jealous.

PatatasBravas

Hahaha as if we could afford enough tvs for the kids.

PatatasBravas

By "we" I totally meant "the combined incomes of all working adults and teenagers in the house when I was growing up," not me and my romantical person right now.

Because we have zero kids, and I can definitely afford to buy zero tvs!

fondue with cheddar

While I agree that a TV in the bedroom is not the best idea, I sort of chuckled at this part...

"Watching TV in the bedroom may pose extra hazards compared with regular TV viewing. Studies have linked bedroom TVs with reduced amounts of sleep, a factor that itself has been linked to weight gain"

...because my best friend in high school had a big (by early '90s standards) TV in his room and he was the skinniest dude. And I'm pretty sure he slept fine. He actually used the TV as an alarm, which I thought was kind of weird.

melis

I never had a TV in my room growing up and frankly was kind of a shit about it, in my head at least - X has a TV in her bedroom but she's also incapable of mustering an expression on to her face that a sex doll couldn't make too - but ever since I got a laptop at the beginning of college I would say 5 nights out of 7 I fall asleep watching TV or a movie on it, so, you win X, I'm sorry I was judged you so much in my head but also I wish I didn't fall asleep with my laptop so often. There's no winning here.

melis

Actually, I wouldn't have thought about it in those terms; I had never seen a sex doll as a child and probably didn't know what they were. I would have picked something equally unkind, though. In my mind I was a destroyer of worlds.

PistolPackinMama

@melis That thing Jolie said a while ago in an AACP column about co-sleeping with her laptop? Yeah. I probably have all the back episodes of Never Mind the Buzzcocks memorized from listening to them in my sleep.

I should download some language learning software.

Heat Signature

One of my core parenting beliefs (or whatever) is that my kids will NEVER EVER have a television in their room, we'll never have those fucking DVD players (portable or installed) in our vehicle, and they will not have portable gaming devices until they are teenagers AT LEAST. My mother-in-law wanted to get my son a V-Tech bullshit "learning device" and I was like, absolute not.

olivebee

@Heat Signature I don't disagree with you (especially about video game devices), and I respect your position on screens for children. But I don't know what V-Tech toys are like nowadays, but when I was a child, the V-tech "laptop" toy I had was super educational. I learned a ton of vocabulary and spelling on it, since I mainly had the word games, but I also had quite a few geography games for mine, as well. That thing kept me occupied on long car trips in a really fun and academic way. Maybe they have changed a bunch, but if I could find a toy for my future children that fed their love of words and knowledge, I wouldn't discount it just because it had a screen.

Heat Signature

@olivebee I'm an old, so any toy that's portable and requires a screen terrifies me.

fondue with cheddar

@Heat Signature I had a portable gaming device when I was a kid! It was really high-tech!

iceberg

@Heat Signature I'm with you in theory on the DVD screen in the car. They definitely raise my judgy hackles. On the other hand, triplets, so we'll probably get one in the next car we get. Sigh. My parenting standards lower in inverse proportion to the number of children screaming at me.

Verity

@iceberg Speaking as a triplet, stay strong! We never had one (okay, so *maybe* that's because they weren't invented 15-20 years ago. Ignore that). Story tapes, music, looking out of the window and just "sitting quietly and letting your parents listen to Radio 4" are all adequate distractions! (That said, I still envy my boyfriend for his ability to read in cars without feeling sick. My childhood would have been so different if I'd had that.)

olivebee

I LOVED having a TV in my room growing up, because as an only child who wasn't allowed to have weeknight playdates unless it was the neighborhood kids, it kept me company. I had no one to talk to, so I got absorbed into the worlds of the shows I was watching. Fast forward to college where I studied screenwriting for TV.

And for as much as I loved (and still love) TV, it never kept me from being a voracious reader and writer, either. The same qualities that make someone an active TV viewer (rather than a passive one) usually apply to books as well. It's a love of character development and storytelling. This is why I am skeptical of parents who are staunchly anti-TV. I don't think you can be anti-TV until you know what your child's propensities are and what else they have going on in their life. Screen time should definitely have limits so that the child can read, write, create artwork, play sports, play an instrument, etc., but a lot of modern parents are going for full-on abolishment*.

Also, nowadays, producing TV/media is a very creative hobby/outlet for a lot of kids now that you can do it with a handheld camera and a computer. In fact, my husband wouldn't have a job if it weren't for children's consumption of media (he teaches media production and appreciation to inner-city middle schoolers). So I have a hard time vilifying something that can foster creativity.

*I know the study was about obesity, and my arguments are completely unrelated to that, and I can't really argue against the data that suggests too much TV is linked to weight gain because...yeah. Obviously, as with anything in life, too much of one thing is never good. TV-watching needs to be balanced with other activities. I just get all in a huff when people try to paint TV as this evil entity that ruins children forever.

(Sorry for the TL,DR!)

Saaoirse

@olivebee I'm taking a break from writing an essay for my film & TV course right now and yes, yes, exactly, TV is not in itself evil. It is a medium with tons of potential, and there are lots of amazing, enriching shows. Seeing it written off so often is annoying, especially as an easy thing to blame for what is actually an incredibly complicated issue, such as obesity.

Springtime for Voldemort

@olivebee No, I agree with you. It's harder to exercise while reading than while watching tv, and yet no one ever does a study cautioning parents against the dangers of too many books.

LooseBaggyMonster

@Springtime for Voldemort There were alarmists about the effects of reading novels back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries! It's always something.

VDRE

When I was little all I wanted was a bedroom TV. I would watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and dream about winning one of those handheld TVs so I could secretly watch TV in my room at night.

area@twitter

My parents had a small TV in their bedroom on which they watched the evening news or the end of the football game. When I went on peritoneal dialysis as a teen- a process that required I spend nine hours hooked to a fluid cycler in my bedroom each night- my dad's coworkers pooled some cash together and bought me a little TV with a VCR in it. It was awesome. Being able to watch "The Simpsons" and primetime TV in my own room took a lot of the sting out of the whole mess. Finally I was one of the cool kids! I still think fondly of those folks fifteen years later. Thank you for helping to de-suck my life. (Had that situation not existed though, it would never have happened; I wouldn't even have thought of asking for my own TV.)

iceberg

@area@twitter Awww that was so sweet of them!

area@twitter

@iceberg It really was. One of the upsides of that period was the incredible support my family and I received. You could not open the freezer without a casserole falling out. I still have all the get-well cards people wrote to me in a box in my closet.

frigwiggin

My best friend had a TV in her room when I was eleven, and I was FASCINATED. They also had a little TV and VHS player in their car before cars had those fold-down screens. I, however, simply fell asleep downstairs many nights with the regular TV, and, after I was old enough, didn't care about having a TV because I had a computer and could talk to people online to make up for only having like four real-life friends. MY PEOPLE

iceberg

I had a TV in my room at my dad's house, but it was the horrible old one that you had to wait 30 seconds after turning it on and then whack it really hard with a boot to get the color to come on, and it was always snowy and ghosty (this was in the dark days before digital TV). Still, I considered it pretty special.

teaandcakeordeath

I still remember the day I got the tv for my room with the sort of boundless affection other people have for the day that they got their pets.

fabel

I was never allowed to have one growing up, but I also never really wanted one ("I don't OWN a TV **curls lip**).

When I was in my late teens, my mom finally was all "Oh, by the way, do you want to take [this little TV she was getting rid of] for your room?" & I was like "I think, not!!! Why would I want a TV. IN MY ROOOOM???"

I am addicted to the internet, though.

EpWs

We won (?) some sort of bizarre prize pack that included a mini portable TV that had a strap that doubled as the antenna (??) and I stole it and used it to watch TV in my room. It picked up practically nothing so I ended up watching High School Reunion. Religiously.

Dachelle@twitter

I still have the TV I had in my bedroom growing up! It's a little guy named Sparky (seriously, that's the name on the front of the TV). Sparky doesn't work anymore, but has a cozy retirement in my garage. I may have been a bit too attached to my TV as an only child living in the country where my friends were at least a 15 minute drive away.

Megasus

We had giant TVs from the '70s until I was in middle school. I am only 26.

snowmentality

@Megano! My in-laws still have a giant TV from the 70s. It is built into a wooden cabinet and everything. At this point the picture is half messed up so you can barely even watch anything.

Nocs

@snowmentality My grandma refuses to get rid of her wooden-cabinet set from the 70s because she still sees the wooden part as a status symbol. She can't read any of the words on the screen during the news, but by crackity, she declined to take the modern TV my parents bought her because it doesn't have the wooden cabinetry around it!

yeah-elle

My parents still have the one and only television we had when I was growing up, and it's small. like, probably 24" wide. We never had cable and I watched PBS exclusively until I was probably 11 or so. I also didn't have my own computer until I left for college.

What I did have in my room as a kid was a crusty old cassette-radio boombox, which I foiled with gum wrappers and used to record songs off of the radio. Later, I had my own discman (and by the end of high school, an ipod) and I basically always had headphones on, which no doubt drove my mother crazy.

samjohn4810

techy enough to have a "personal computer". When I was in high school we did get a second, tiny TV that they stuck in a weird corner of the living room. It didn't have a VCR but it did have a Super Nintendo. british columbia marijuana

samjohn4810

They did give me my own computer when I was 13. Not a shared one in the basement with my sister, my own one. And there, I learned to illegally download Friends, and could watch tv and read smutty fanfic to my heart's e-cigarette

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When i was in elementary school i aften watching TV, eventhough i dont have TV in my bedroom. I know a lot of cartoon at that time. Now i'm in college and i live in a boarding house so i dont have any television. I just like a caveman now. But fortunately i have a laptop which is my best friend in the boarding house LOL.
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