I decided to write on these subjects because I was hit with one after another as I was working while the television was on. There are times I feel the smarter we as humans become with all our technology, the down right stupider many of us have become.
It started with the news story of a 10-year-old girl flying alone. (you can read part 1 here) As dumbstruck as I was at the sheer stupidity on behalf of everyone involved in the matter. As the news went to commercial I was mortified on what came on next. Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to the next possible IPO wannabe coming to an exchange near you. Care (dot) com
What is Care (dot) com? Think Angie’s List™ but not for a plumber, contractor, or anything else of the sort. No this is for a babysitter. All you need to do is click, read the reviews, then when you feel like you’ve garnered enough information by clicking and reading the only thing left to do is invite this person over to your home and leave them there. Alone. In your house. With all your treasures. And also the lives, and well-being of your children. Hey, isn’t technology great! All you need to do is click, and read reviews then bammo! You’re a parent of the modern age practicing due diligence for the safety and well-being of your children, and more. A role model of society. How proud and smart you must now feel at this great awakening. You’ve now entered the modern age of parenting.
Once again I said: “You have GOT to be kidding me!”
I am fully aware of the restraints or caged feelings parents get when children are young. The seemingly sheer absence of anything serendipitous or resemblance to any spontaneity. As if vanished into the ether never to be seen again.
However, I only need to pose one hypothetical question in my mind to see if I might be off track. I see myself asking my mother: “Would you have left us with a babysitter that you found in the want ads?” As I was ducking the first attempt at her cracking me on the back of the head I would then try to defend the question with this follow-up: “But, they come recommended. Written reviews from people stating how great they are.” As she was reaching for the broom for a better angle she might start saying: “Are any of those “people” people you know? Like family or close friends? What in the world are you thinking? Is that how I raised you?” (Just for the record there was never any corporal punishment, it was more along the lines of the whack that says: What are you thinking!)
And there lies the truth that hits you harder than a broom, a smack, or anything else. Common sense. It’s far more of a bludgeoning hammer than anything else wielded by a parent. And like many of you, our parents seemed to be armed with the equivalent of a super carrier. Today I believe many parents have barely enough common sense to fill a dinghy.
It’s one thing to be looking for a Nanny, or some other form of caretaker for children. (Oh and yes they offer that and so much more!) But that’s not what I’m discussing here. This falls into: “Hey, there’s a great band playing at the local gin mill down the street. Everybody’s going out tonight to party. Everyone except us because we have a child, and no babysitter. Hey wait, we can go! I saw this ad on television for Care(dot)com. You enter your info, check the referrals on-line then bammo! We have a babysitter so we can go out a tear it up also. Where’s the laptop?”
Is there any wonder why we just can’t make any rhyme or reason out of some of the things we see happening today? I contend it’s because – there isn’t any. Most of the common sense that was common has been replaced with: “But It was on the internet so it must be true. Here look for yourself!”
No wonder we’re in trouble.
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr