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7.06.2012

Are our discussions getting too global?

My kids decided to trade clothes one day.  Would I let them go out like this?  If they really wanted to, sure!  But that's not the point...
 This may end up being a stream of consciousness post, so bear with me.



I hardly watch TV anymore.  Let me amend that.  I still watch plenty of prime time drama type TV.  Probably far more than I should, but it is the one guilty pleasure I have no inkling to give up.  It doesn't hurt my health at all or make me feel bad or feel bad about myself.  It is something I look forward to each day- after the kids go to bed, I sit down and watch one of my DVR'd shows.

But today is my birthday, so instead of getting right to it (because birthday or not, I still have a pretty good sized to-do list) I decided to take a minute, sit down, eat my breakfast, and watch some morning TV.  I normally would rather sit on the porch with my breakfast and coffee and watch the chickens, but it's been really hot and really mosquito-y out lately.

Unfortunately, since I slept in a little (thanks kids!), then spent an hour doing chores, making breakfast, and putting dishes away, by the time I turned the TV on The View was just starting.  I despise The View.  But I was comfy and enjoying my eggs in a hole (yum!) so I left it.  Big mistake.

Because I even knew what they were going to talk about.  It was on a preview I saw yesterday (I watched The Chew, as show I genuinely enjoy, as I worked on blog stuff and tried to avoid yesterday's insane heat).  I should have known better.

What was this topic that got me all insane?  Elizabeth's son has recently wanted to wear a skirt when they leave the house, and getting him to take it off has become quite the battle of wills.

But I'm not judging her for making him take it off.  It's not what I would do, but it's her kid and it's her choice.  What enfuriated me was simply the conversation about it.  She kept saying that if he was obviously doing this because he didn't feel comfortable in boy's clothes, she would let him, but it's just a battle of wills, so she HAD to win.  And Sherri kept making metaphors relating to cookies or running into the street that were totally inappropriate to the situation- eating 20 cookies could seriously endanger a child's short term health, and running into the street could cause death.  Wearing a skirt in public will do neither.

My point isn't that I disagree with them.  My point is that why does there discussion have enough value to be on national TV?  Does every little thing we do today have to be discussed on a national level?  Yes, you're right, little miss overthinks and discusses everything just said that.

Here's the thing.  I used to spend lots of time on message boards and commenting on articles and blogs and the like.  Then I realized something that I wish the rest of the world would realize.  No one freakin' cares what you say.  Everyone is speaking because they think they're right and they like the sound of their own voice (figuratively on the internet) and since we live now in a world where communication is so readily available to everyone all the time on such an anonymous level we all feel like our thoughts and ideas have value.

But they don't.  Yep, I said it, they don't.  You know who should care about whether or not Elizabeth's son wears a skirt out in public?  Herself and her husband.  Her extended family maybe.  Perhaps her immediate community.  But that is it.  No one else cares, and no one else should care.  But we have lost our sense of immediate community in this feeling that everything we say matters and everyone wants to hear it.

And yes, I'm a total hypocrite.  I write a blog and I'm criticizing globally available communication.  Deal with it, we're all hypocrites in some way.

What I'm getting at is that we need to stop wasting energy and time criticizing and discussing things that should be discussed locally.  We need to widen and educate our own communities instead of trying to do it globally all at once.  Case in point, Jamie's Time cover and the ensuing controversy.  Yes, I still agree with her that in this case the exposure itself is beneficial, even though it was almost wholly negative.  But I don't think this one magazine cover changed anything.  What did change people is getting to know Jamie personally (and I don't mean by watching her on TV, I mean that she had the opportunity to meet a lot of people, actually in person, by doing this cover).  Because when people got to meet her and see "oh, these attachment parenting people aren't crazy wack jobs, they're real people!"  One of the response articles I read (and I can't find it now...) was written by someone who is friends with Jamie.  She admits that she was very anti baby lead weaning until she met Jamie.  Most people can't or won't change their mind based on these very global and largely anonymous debates we feel the need to perpetuate.  In fact, I think the more we talk about them sometimes the more we polarize people and force them to choose a side, whether they have the basic knowledge to do so or not.  When we have these conversations on a community level, in person, we allow people to see the humanity behind the issue, and they are for more likely to be understanding and open minded.

I finally turned the TV off and decided that it wasn't too hot out after all, especially in the shade of the huge Maple in front of my porch.  Watching my chickens peck and scratch was a far more peaceful way to spend the morning than listening to women argue about things that shouldn't (and don't) matter to me.

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