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?


Anonymous said...

Well, the way I pine over my favorite characters on LOST, or Doctor Who, or Stargate, or Heroes, or... (endless list, taking turns etc) very much reminds me of when I was a pre-teen and teenager, always seriously in love with a fictional character, or confusing the actor with the character. I used to buy those youth magazines with star pictures and I'd plaster them all over. I'd hunger for every intricate detail of my lastest 'love'. It really hurt, almost physically, to want more of them. Now I do the same thing again, youtubing every bit of interview I can get my hands on for LOST (my latest, strongest flame...) and fanning the star-crush flames as much as a mother and wife can get away with! Not sure that's a societal change, I didn't have tremendous amounts of tv growing up.

Sharee said...

The Internet definitely provides a way for complete strangers to connect in ways they've been unable to in times past. With MySpace, FaceBook and innumerable chat rooms and online communities, we've created virtual neighbors with which to connect in a nonthreatening and often fictious way. We're able to be someone else online ... if we're skinny, we can describe ourselves as voluptious, if we're an outcast, we can finally be popular and sadly, if someone is a pervert, the Internet is their playground. For some, they can create a fantasy better than real life.

The saddest thing? We may never recover the types of relationships fostered in earlier years because this new Internet provides something t.v. and books never could - interaction.

On the upside, without interaction, I guess I wouldn't have had the opportunity to answer this question :) lol