The Internet, siblings, and staying up late

Posted by Sappho on March 7th, 2013 filed in Quaker Practice


At my Quaker meeting, during religious education before meeting for worship, we have been doing Bible study most First Days, but once a month we have an intergenerational activity. This month, it was a game in which our clerk (or, as time went on, any one of us) asked a statement, and we moved toward corners of the room depending on whether we agreed, disagreed, strongly agreed or strongly disagreed (with the middle of the room for neutral).

Things learned:

  1. More people than I’d have expected strongly disagreed with the statement “I fought with my siblings.” But then it turned out that all of them were only children.
  2. Nearly all the adults agreed that they could live a day without the Internet (and no adult strongly disagreed). Most children disagreed, a couple of them strongly.
  3. Adults mostly agreed, but children mostly disagreed, with the statement “I like going to bed early.”
  4. children not only (as expected) didn’t remember party lines; they didn’t know what they were. (For any of the younger generation reading this post, a party line was a telephone line shared by several households; you knew by the ring whether it was for you. Other families, though, could pick up the phone when someone called you. I remember one time when my sister got tired of long-short-long ringing on and on, and picked up the phone to say, “They’re not home.” Another person told a story of a neighbor who “just happened to pick up the phone” and hear various bits of juicy gossip.


2 Responses to “The Internet, siblings, and staying up late”

  1. D. Says:

    Well, there goes the set-up for Pillow Talk. Note has already been made about the existence and use of divorce wiping out a number of Old Reliable plots.

    (In the way Shakespeare is taught with copious footnotes, Stephen King someday is going to have to be taught with copious footnotes. In fact, I’m thinking of annotating my copies in case.)

  2. Sappho Says:

    There’s also the fact that you pretty much have to find a way to dispose of people’s cell phones any time you want to isolate them. Sort of the way Star Trek has to keep coming up with technobabble to explain why their transporters won’t work for just long enough for the plot to progress.