Tonawanda News

Opinion

April 4, 2013

DUVALL: Your cellphone isn't a parenting device

Tonawanda News — I heard a radio commercial that caught my attention the other day, and not for the right reasons.

A woman is talking in that hushed tone reserved for women admitting they’d double-dipped on dessert or some other “naughty” indulgence. Except it isn’t a commercial for chocolate or wine or lingerie. It’s a commercial for AT&T’s 4G cellphone service. Specifically it touts the carrier’s streaming video.

The woman says she’s enjoying the peace and quiet in a coffeeshop while her son — rather than running around like a maniac like normal — is “happily watching that movie about the fish for the 300th time.”

We have people who write columns about parenting for this paper. I am not one of those people. I’m not a parent and I don’t know the first thing about raising children or the challenge it presents. But it is a disturbing thought that the smart advertising execs are using the same women to voice over commercials for child-occupying pocket devices as sinfully delicious cheesecake.

They skipped all manner of pretense and outwardly marketed their cellphones as miracle devices that mesmerize your children — and mean you don’t have to actually do all that messy, frustrating, time-consuming parenting! Sit back and drink your coffee in peace. Just make sure you buy the unlimited data plan.

It is at this juncture I should point out I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth. I’m perpetually the guy in the coffeeshop trying to read a book but stuck next to this woman and her crummy kid who won’t stop screaming or kicking the back of my chair. If only we could find something to occupy those kids ... .

And lord knows the handful of times I’ve been responsible for babysitting a small child, “Finding Nemo” went in the DVD player faster than you can say “early bedtime.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • GUEST VIEW: What young people aren't learning in college The results are distressing to say the least. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of college graduates â€" graduates! â€" knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, just 42 percent knew the Battle of the Bulge was fought during World War II, and not even two in five could identify term limits for their senators and representatives.

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo