It used to be that our family would cluster around the single television screen in the house, and argue over the controls and what programme we’d next watch. It got so bad that we instituted rules over how the selection baton would pass from family member to member.
Then all that changed. How, I don’t know because the change was sutble and not documented. I think along the way we gained a second television when my sister in law came to recuperate from some surgery one month, but now that screen lies dormant most days and the back screen is little used by all except for the mandatory morning chat shows seemingly aimed at stay-at-home housepersons – and it seems to assume that most of those are female. So much for equal gender!
But something else has happened as well. Where once the male child would have his favourite shows he now departs the house for college at some early hour, and forgoes switching it on. The female child uses it more for dancing games on the games box we have, and most of the time I find them glued to Youtube or other internet pages. In fact almost the entirety of what we did via the TV screen has now migrated on to the other things such as my partner watching films on a tablet in bed, while I only watch something about once per month via a streaming film service. All in all it has moved us apart and requires that we make concious efforts to hold ‘family’ times where we talk, rather than conduct bilateral conversations that are based around barter and negotiation rather than observation and reflection.
We’ve become a family of businessmen.