Remote Control

May 11, 2006

Cool! Now I don’t have to parent at all!!!

The new, round-the-clock channel is called BabyFirstTV. For $9.99 a month, it will be available initially by satellite through DirecTV and later through cable TV providers as well.

The channel is targeted at the age group that the American Academy of Pediatrics says shouldn’t be watching TV at all. Regardless, a great many of those wee ones are watching TV, the channel’s execs reason, so you might as well have a channel for them that is “safe” and commercial-free.

I wasn’t surprised to read that 68 percent of children under 2 watch TV or videos daily. But I was a little taken aback to learn that 26 percent have a TV in their bedroom. What, is it hanging in the corner, hotel-style, its blank screen aimed at the crib?

Heavy sigh. I am saddened by this slow erosion away from actual experience toward virtual experience. From real people to virtual people, from real places to virtual places.