Don't go into the light!

Has anyone actually played with the new iTunes visualizer? Shiny!

I'm not the only one who thinks so. Ian is absolutely fascinated. We were listening to Christmas music this morning with the visualizer on full screen--22 brilliant inches of shiny. I've never seen him sit still for so long, unless he's falling asleep. Every once in a while, he would turn his head and look up and smile: This is cool, Dad.

So, of course I immediately started wondering if I was doing irreparable harm to his developing young brain, since that's the sort of things that new parents think all of the time. [If you're a new parent and you don't think that all of the time, you will now obsess over your past failure to do so and how you're a rotten negligent parent for not even worrying about your child's brain being turned to tapioca pudding by shiny music visualizations or C-SPAN or what have you.]

Am I conditioning the siglet to stare in wonder and awe at the glowing screen, to depend on it to satisfy his curiosity and desires and need for stimulation? Will Ian turn into a six-hour-per-day television zombie, able to discuss nothing of any depth greater than the latest American Idol or Survivor or whatever the hell people are watching these days?

Yes, that's right: iTunes is turning my kid into a vegetable.

To be fair, he doesn't just sit there. He also dances. He'll sort of twitch his legs rhythmically, and sway fore and back, trying to get the beat down. He doesn't seem to prefer a specific style yet, although certain things always get a good reaction: Ivan Sigovich loves Joe Satriani. When I played the video embedded in this Trying to Grok post--"500 Miles" by the Proclaimers--he immediately started dancing. I'm not sure what that means.

The point, if any, is that I could see how tempting it would be just to park him in front of a computer screen--or television--and let him be entertained while I do other things. I could see doing it a lot. I watched, in my opinion, way too much television as a kid, but it was nothing compared to a lot of other kids (and adults) that I knew. I spent a lot of time reading, and then later playing with the computer--very little time outside. It's still not a habit for me to go out and be active, but it's one that I would like Ian to have--an awareness that the option is there, at the very least. Life is too short to be spent watching shiny objects move about on LCD screens.

Speaking of which, I have to share this exceedingly shiny Flash game which I found via Urn's reader the other day. It requires some relatively modern hardware to play, but it has pretty lights and music and the gameplay is downright enthralling. You should go stare at it for hours.


PS- Hey look, we're in a snowpocalypse here--I'm not going outside, so we might as well do our shiny-staring now.


Failed Parenting

Thank you #2 Son, I am now feeling suitably guilty about letting you watch too much TV.


That wasn't exactly the intent of the post. Obviously, I turned out freaking awesome, so whatever mistakes may have been made were clearly of the trivial variety. Pay it no mind.