For decades adults have bemoaned (that’s right I used bemoaned) the dangers of television and video games in desensitizing our children. But if a recent rash of commercials is any indication of the future, our senior citizens may also be in great peril.
Take for instance the commercial for Disney where the family is gathered to watch the young grandson in the school play. “Papa” is suddenly not in his seat and he destroys the stage set as he rips the branch of the tree off and recites the opening lines of a song from the Lion King. Is this how we want our grandparents to act? What kind of an example are we setting when Disney teaches our senior citizens to ignore conventional and correct audience behavior if they are seized by “Disney Fever?” What’s next, Mama Obama kicking some old school rap at the State of the Union?
In a second commercial for Essurance, a woman is telling her friends how she’s saved time not mailing photos but putting them on her wall, suggesting the Facebook practice yet she has the photos on her actual wall. Now this is some kind of age discrimination, isn’t it? It’s enough when kids think their parents are idiots because they can outrun them on a computer, but are adults suggesting that their parents are totally clueless about the Internet and social media? Even if the writers of said TV commercial did get real life inspiration from senior citizens in their personal life, isn’t this suggesting that all people of a certain age are incapable of understanding how to use Facebook the right way?
Like the Disney commercial will this projected image influence the behavior of the AARP generation? Like news people end up postulating that video games are responsible for teenage gun violence, as the huge population of baby boomers enter retirement age and live longer, are we to be concerned about these portrayals creating a society filled with rude, obnoxious, and idiotic grandmas and grandpas?
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting my grandpas but my grandmas were sweet, knitting and playing bingo, they weren’t the hippest as far as technology but they weren’t idiots. I’m worried about kids staying over at their grandparents. We were fed a lot of sugar and junk food, but what can this crazed generation misinterpret in other commercials and possibly mess up? My God what if they think texting has to do with writing and they return their children’s children tattooed with the contents of Reader’s Digest covering their little bodies?
We’ve got to stop it.