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That Buzzing

  1. Dec 24, 2004 #1
    That escalating buzzing sound incessantly ringing in our ears is the sound of the pace of our lives. It just keeps getting faster and faster. Baby cries, Mommy gives him a rattle. That's where it all starts. Baby is endlessly curious and learns very quickly. He has a hunger for new information. The hunger drives him. He is an open vessel eager to be filled. Rather than feeding the hunger with knowledge, Parents feed it with a new toy. Baby gets bored of the new toy, so starts to cry again. Mommy gives him another toy to keep him happy and occupied. Times goes on, Baby gets more and more toys. He never has to be bored again. He just needs something new to occupy him. As Baby grows, he starts to associate his feeling of lack of satisfaction for his knowledge lust with boredom and realizes that whenever he's bored he has a hundred toys to choose from to satisfy that hunger. Trinkets become an information placebo. His hunger seems to be satisfied temporarily, at least. Baby starts to associate trinkets with bringing comfort and respite from boredom, that most evil of all fates. Whatever mood he is in, Baby has a toy to address that mood. Parents think they are giving Baby a "better" life than they had. They want to give him all he needs and all those things they wanted but never had. They do all they can to offer Baby instant gratification, seemingly with no limits. Baby has been taught by example, from the first moment of his recognition of the world around him, that the world not only revolves around him, but revolves around his every momentary whim. If you are bored, cry and you get a shiny new trinket to enamor you for a few more moments. Child, used to having every whim fulfilled with no hesitation, becomes spoiled and self-absorbed. Satisfying his urges becomes the most important thing to him. He begins to see his fleeting desires as needs. It becomes increasingly difficult for the child to discern between desires and needs.

    Father is driving Child to his soccer game in his SUV. He is pre-occupied with this afternoon's meeting at work. Their six-month-old marketing campaign is falling behind the times and getting stale. Child is restless in the back seat. That dreaded phrase, ever lingering in the air, comes out of Child's mouth, "I'm bored!"

    Father is at a loss what to do. He can't yell at him because he knows it is not the child's fault. The family doctor told Father that Child has ADHD - it's a chemical imbalance, and punishing him for it will cause more problems down the road. "Did you take your Ritalin today?"

    "YES!", the child responds snidely.

    "We'll be there in just a few minutes". He's not allowed to tell Child to relax - that, he was informed, would invalidate Child's feelings and cause resentment.

    Child starts kicking the back of Father's seat and making random obnoxious noises. "Here! Take the damned Game-Boy!" Father was supposed to limit Child's time with video games to no more than one-hour a day, but he just can't take it anymore. He has a lot on his mind and just doesn't have the time or patience to deal with this anymore.

    Child starts playing his Game-Boy, but the peace only lasts for a few minutes. "I finished all my games already. I need new games." Child throws the Game-Boy on the floor. "I'm BORED!"

    "Watch a movie, then! I don't know what to tell you."

    Child turns the backseat DVD player on and puts in his favorite cartoon. It is very loud, obnoxious, vibrant and energetic. The exceedingly stimulating scenes change every 12 seconds to keep child's attention, and since the DVD player came with wireless headphones, Father gets the peace and quiet he desires too. They both finish their ride together silently. Father thinking about work and Child thinking about the video game that is based on the cartoon he's watching. He NEEDS to get that one!

    When Child interacts with his friends, the conversation generally revolves around what trinkets they have. They compare notes and see who has the latest and greatest stuff. Child feels neglected and utterly bored when he finds out that his collection of toys doesn't come close to what Jimmy claims to have. Parents can't let Child be the neglected one at school. Child will be teased and grow up with the stigma of being the "poor kid". Parents can't have that! "Besides, what will the OTHER parents think? We can't have them thinking that we can't afford to buy Child the best of everything!" Child gets his new toys.

    Since school doesn't provide the constant glittering over-stimulation Child has grown accustomed to, he gets bored of schoolwork very quickly. Why would he read a book and delay gratification when he has 300 TV channels at home, 247 video games, 243 CD's, 73 computer games and the Internet? Boredom is a thing of the past - it's no longer a necessary evil. That's what's so great about progress, didn't you know? Hell, he doesn't even need to go outside anymore! Life is grand. Long division is passe and unnecessary. Why learn anything anymore? Child has had the Internet in his classroom since the first grade. Nothing needs to be remembered. Nothing needs to be learned. Nothing needs to be earned. Everything can simply be looked-up. It's all right there, always available when and where he "needs" it. "Why make Child's life anymore difficult than it already is? Especially since he has a 'learning disability'. Child should be shielded from the horrors of society and live his life with as little difficulty and strife as possible. If we have the ability to not only give Child everything he has ever wanted, but give him limitless options to choose from we have succeeded. We have given him a better life than we had." He has so much more stuff to occupy his increasingly limited time.

    Child is sixteen years old. He is now used to getting everything he wants. As he gets older, though, his tastes become more refined. He has the attention span of a gnat and the memory of a goldfish. The cycle is crashing in on itself. He needs more and more, faster and faster, and Parents simply can't afford to give it all to him anymore. He has never learned self-discipline, so the word "no" doesn't mean anything to him. His need for constant stimulation is still there, but it takes much more to keep him enamored for more than the span of a TV commercial telling him what he wants to buy next. With more expensive trinkets catching Boy's eye, Parent's dwindling bank account & over-extended credit and his craving for stimulation slowly becoming a craving for risk and danger, his life begins to spin out of control.

    Boy is starved for attention, but the attention he has received in his life has not come from his parents or other people, it has consistently come from his trinkets. The attention he needs is doled out by the corporations that sell the trinkets, the entertainment industry whores pushing the trinkets onto him and he knows all of it is impossible without money. Lots of money.

    Boy sees money as his sole agent of entertainment, satisfaction, comfort, information and power. He sees the entertainment whores making millions of dollars and having all the money the will ever need to buy all of those trinkets that he needs to feel whole and complete as a person. The trinkets fill the holes. Money is mother's tit. Money is God. Money is his comforter, confidant and only friend.

    When Boy grows up and has kids of his own what do you think will happen?

    We need to stop giving into our every whim and selfish desire. We need to stop spoiling the **** out of our fat, lazy kids and stop placating their already bloated sense of self-absorbed entitlement. We need to expand our myopic shortsighted vision. We need to stop focusing on giving ourselves and our children every passing want and start focusing on valid needs. If someone doesn't pull the plug on the machine, it will eventually destroy itself in a violent eruption under the force of its own momentum. Don't say I didn't warn you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2004 #2
    Don't take this the wrong way,
    Shut up.
    I needed Ritalin just to get through that post.
    It's Christmas Eve, how about a little optimism?
  4. Dec 24, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    The definition of "being human" is changing with technology. In part I think you are seeing the birth pangs of a radically new era in human history.
  5. Dec 24, 2004 #4
    older generation looking at younger generation and losing hope.
    new era, same clothes.
  6. Dec 24, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I agree, but its also more than that.
  7. Dec 24, 2004 #6
    it always is. crazy kids wanting to abolish slavery, women wanting to vote, kids listening to rock and roll, money hungry Ritalin addicts.
    Don't worry, it'll be okay.
    Merry Christmas you bunch of pessimists
  8. Dec 24, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I wasn't being pessimistic.

    An old standby: See The Third Wave by Toffler.
  9. Dec 24, 2004 #8
    personally I have faith in the younger generation. they usually have a way of becoming the older generation
  10. Dec 24, 2004 #9
    I don't think it is a simple matter of "kids these days!" and *****ing about the incoming generation.
    I think it started before this generation, and continues to worsen all the time.
    Thus the escalating buzzing noise.
    My generation, in fact, is probably the one responsible for kick starting the downward spiral and taking this trend to the level of having a life of it's own crawling out of the filth that was the 80's.
    For a change, I am not the new generation blaming the old for the state we inherited the world in, or the old generation *****ing about the morally bankrupt youth ruining the hard work MY generation put forth and not appreciating anything of value.
    I am blaming MY generation for all this, and calling for MY generation to stop this trend with their children.
  11. Dec 24, 2004 #10


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    I once had this aquarium. The sole resident, a female guppy, unexpectedly gave birth. There were hundreds of them. A few days later, only a half dozen remained. She had eaten the slow learners. Talk about tough love. I think of it as "The Guppy Solution"
  12. Dec 24, 2004 #11
    Are you suggesting that we should put children with ADHD out of their misery? :)
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