Techno-Fix

Time was when people fixed things, though I doubt I ever fixed much. But I paid other people to do the fixing.

The car mechanic. Plumber. An electrician.

When the mediated world was comprised solely of print, people read to non-readers, both teaching them how to read while sharing a genuinely interactive experience.

Parents. Teachers. Clergy.

The usual sources of socialization.

For those in the 1930s worried about the anxiety radio thrillers would have on kids, adults were encouraged to listen alongside the youngsters.

If your kids brought home lascivious comic books – Betty and Veronica, you know – parents would monitor their allowances.

Beginning in the 1950s, when TV diffused, the oldsters were again advised to watch along with the children to mitigate any harm caused by the medium’s content. Simply doing so, research reported, diminished some of the harmful effects of such programs as “The Three Stooges.”

On my black and white TV channel, an actor named Officer Joe also made periodic appearances during Stooge commercial breaks. The police imposter admonished the susceptible to “not try this at home.”

Comic book content was approved by a Code Authority beginning in 1954. The Code responded to Frederic Wertham’s book, also 1954, “Seduction of the Innocent”; the title gives away the social problem.

The introduction of movie ratings in 1968 was supposed to assist parents in choosing which films their children would see. Of course kids used the ratings for attendance choices more often than parents, research again reveals.

And the 1999 introduction of V-chip technology for TV absolved parents of the tedium endured by parenting – and watching endless drivel with their kids.

One of the most basic human needs – food – is today satisfied by a store instead of what is grown in the backyard.

Once the switch from home-grown to store-bought was accomplished, how have we survived without technology?

I make a nearly daily trip to the supermarket. The store’s employees are convinced I work there, too. And my reliably constant observations reveal shoppers on phones getting or giving instructions or discussing what to purchase.

Next, an “intelligent” refrigerator that uses an internal camera to generate a (old-fashioned) shopping list, according to “Time” magazine.

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