I took Zander and Lexi to a local fast food place with a playground earlier this week. While they were there, I met Kattie who was only 10 weeks old and every inch of 2 feet tall. I met Delanie who was 4 and 1/2 years old. I’d like to say I met their parents, since I did talk with them, and I did learn their children’s names and ages from them. I even learned that the dad enjoyed his newborn tax deduction so much that he took the time to show me that they bought a shirt for her that has Tax Deduction printed on the front. But I can’t say I meet them – since I didn’t ask their names, they didn’t ask mine, and we didn’t exchange any contact information, despite the fact that they were about the same age as Stephanie and me and they have kids close in age to our kids, and even made a comment that their older daughter was really enjoying the opportunity to play with Zander since her only other ‘friends’ were unable to interact on the same level due to age differences. Why didn’t we exchange information? Why didn’t I get to know them? Maybe I thought I could just ‘tune in’ next week and they would be there – all my other friends are.
I never realized how much TV was a part of everyone’s lives until the recent writers strike. As I spent time thinking about that fact, I realized something that might ring true for many of you guys as well. We have replaced actual human interaction with TV personalities. Think about it for a second – doesn’t the cast of friends make for a great click – with you in it?
Beautiful people that are funny, cool, and fun to hang out with are willing to share their lives with you every week. They don’t reject you, they never leave you out of what’s going on, and even when they do leave someone in the group out – its never you. Whether its the cast of Cheers, Friends, Sienfield, The OC, Las Vegas, Law and Order, or even Lost – you get to hang out with the cool crowd and no one questions whether or not you belong.
What – you think you haven’t replace actual friends for TV friends? Maybe you watch reality TV instead? You get to pick one of the teams on whatever show and they won’t turn you down – and you get to spy on exactly how the other team or teams are doing. You watch your new friends compete, argue, make other friends, lose weight, race to a finish line, struggle to survive, or just face their fears – all from your sofa. And they think you are great. They never turn on you, or vote you off – even when they get Fired!
When I was young, I heard stories of women that got so wrapped up in soap operas that they actually believed the cast were the characters they were playing. At the time I thought, how absurd, but now I think we all have fallen into a worse condition – we know they aren’t real, but would rather pretend they are than to turn off the TV and go make new friends.