Often, you (and by you, I guess I mean me) hear people complain about the way technology is destroying mankind. Not robots harvesting humans for… (what would robots harvest humans for anyway?)type stuff; just the simple fact that the more ways we have to communicate, the less we seem to connect.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah-blah-blah. I’m sure the same complaints were made when the telephone first became popular. (Imagine the following in cranky old person voice) “What! You can’t even come over for a visit anymore! No time to see me face to face, gotta send your voice over a wire and, huh? I’m holding it wrong? What do you mean the receiver is upside down? See! We wouldn’t have this problem if you’d just get on your horse and drop by for a chat dagnabbit.”
Now, I’m not about to trade in my e-mail for a stationary set, or stop texting quick notes to hubby and friends…but I have decided there is a line in the technology sand I’m not ready to cross: the dvd player in the car line.
Once a week I teach a class that’s almost an hour away (sometimes worse on the way home if the traffic is bad…which it always is). My daughter comes with since she takes a class at the same time, and two one hour car rides, especially when you’re tired and hungry and crawling along in stop and go rush hour traffic (why do they call it “rush” hour anyway? You may be in a hurry, but you sure aren’t going anywhere fast!) So when I got a portable dvd player for my birthday (to stick in the workout room so I can gaze upon Tom Welling and catch up on Smallville episodes while logging some time on the treadmill), I decided to try taking it along in the car for Miss A for the long car ride.
Even before I set it up for her I made ground rules: the dvd player will be for very long car rides only, and it doesn’t stay in the car permanently. We used it for the first time last week, and I’m very glad I put those rules in place…if I had not before, I would have after.
It wasn’t that the system was hard to set up, or difficult to operate – and it did in fact, offer me a peaceful (well as peacfeul as you can get while dodging potholes going 60 mph) drive to work…but it was just weird to have Miss A be so, well, quiet!
If you have read any of my posts, you know that many of my more interesting conversations with my daughter occur in the car. Her brain wanders and lights upon all sorts of unique, bizarre, and clever observations.
It was nice to have a bit of a peace on a long drive, especially since most of her conversation during such drives is restricted to whining about how long it is taking or how hungry/thirsty/tired/bored she is, and if that isn’t enough she goes into this mode where she drums up old grudges…past moments of insult/injury that she decides to get angry about all over again; such as the time I promised her a playdate with a friend and had to back out – or something similar. With the dvd player on she settled back in her car seat (Princess, of course) and all I heard was the occasional giggle. In fact, since the movie wasn’t finished when we pulled up in the driveway she was sad the drive was over!
So I do plan to bring it along for those long drives…but there is no way it will be a daily thing – I can’t even imagine all the awesome, interesting hilarious and sometimes awkward conversations I would miss out on with my daughter; wait, I can imagine it…and that’s why I would never do it.
When I eventually decide to buy a new car, there are some features I am definitely considering: remote starter, gps system…hey, maybe even seat warmers…but a dvd player? No.
No thank you.