"It used to be," says my mother over breakfast yesterday, "that when you went out with your kid, your kid was like an actual person."
"Um. What?" I'm a little surprised to find my personhood in question so early this Thanksgiving morn.
"An actual person. Someone you would talk to. People used to come up to me on the bus and say, 'I can't believe how you talk to your daughter!'. Now your kid is just someone to be kept quiet with technology so you can concentrate on your own screen."
(You may remember that my mother told me, upon receiving news that I'd acquired a smartphone, that I was "up to my eyeballs in assholedom."* She feels strongly about hypermediation.)
"We first noticed this in London," interjects my father, "All of these parents, pushing around their kids in strollers and hushing them while they tapped away at their phones. Contemplating their own assholedom."
"Is that the new navel-gazing?" I ask.
"Yes," says my mother. "But it requires a twist."
"My tablet!" I cry, rushing out of the room for my computer, "Meet it is I set it down!"**