Thursday, August 23

Social Substitution

As I watch my kids grow up, I often think about how different they are because of the simple existence of their siblings. For example, DS spent the first 6 years of his life as an only child, whereas DD will have always had her big brother around, from day 1. Their very presence affects each other in so many ways, in effect making them different people than they might have been were they born without siblings or in a different birth order.

So, all this is kind of musingly and affectionately going through my mind, and I think to myself that even if something happened to one of them, their lives would still be forever changed. That got me to feeling sorry for poor Mohinder Suresh, who lost his sister so young in life that he didn't even remember her...wait, I say to myself. Oh, boy. He's not even a real guy! He's a character from NBC's Heroes, of which I was a complete addict last season.

So, my question is this: In this age of separation, where touch is discouraged, fear is prevalent, and most people barely know their neighbors, has TV and other media come in to fill the gaps? Do they fulfill desires we have as humans to connect with other people, to know all the lurid details of their intimate lives, to feel a part of them, to gossip about them, even if they only exist in stories? It's an interesting thought to ponder. Is this new, or have we always done this in one way or another (like in books), even when we were closer with our neighbors?