Donna Stevens Scary Idiot Box Portraits Should Give Us Pause
We’ve always known that the television makes us all just so stupid when we watch. And believe it or not, 59% of under 2’s watch two hours of TV every day. And surprisingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued a warning alerting parents to not let infants and toddlers watch TV. Television watching gives tiny viewers no known benefits. It impairs cognitive skills and wastes crucial brain-development time that should be spent conversing with real people, per Roberta Golinkoff, coauthor of Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn—And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. “Language is crucial to children’s learning, and the language they get from the television is not tailored to their individual needs. It will not answer their questions or follow their leads, which is how you create smart kids.”
So we should talk with our children. We should allow them to ask questions. And we should do our best to answer them. I find it difficult sometimes to do so. But, existentialism and chaos theory not withstanding, we should do our best to answer our kids questions.
Regardless, enter Donna Stevens and her truly scary portraits of children watching the boob-tube.
“TV is just one of the many ever present black mirrors through which we mediate our lives today. Idiot Box hopes to explore the darker side of our love for technology.
“The series (shot while children watched TV) was an exploration into the co-dependent yet contradictory relationship we all share with technology and the media. Should we exhibit more caution about the role of technology in our children’s lives? Is our techno-paranoia warranted? No matter what gadgetry we may possess, do our problems remain human?”
Donna asks good questions – but her portraits ask even better ones all by themselves. Is this sane? I mean, really? Just because we can, and we like it, does it mean we should?
Oh come on, those portraits are wicked scary. Like something straight out of Poltergeist. Or Stephen King’s Children of the Corn! I can’t even tell you how jacked these photos are. And yet, we’ve all seen that gaze. Watched as some other primal portion of our brains take over. Gah. Scary.