While some people may be concerned about N. Korea or Iran, in the really important news of the week, Netflix banned employees from looking at each other for more than five seconds. Asking a co-worker out more than once is similarly discouraged and, after having been turned down, every effort should be made to avoid that colleague. At about the same time, the National Health Service in England is preparing to diagnose a teenager with its first case of internet addiction and studies show an unprecedented number of U.S. college students are seeking mental health counseling.
While all this was going on, one of our daughters went to enroll her young son in a new school. To her amusement and horror, most of the forms she was asked to fill out overwhelmingly asked about her child’s therapies and special needs. She felt like apologizing for his being a rather uncomplicated kid.
When did normal human interaction and run-of-the-mill childhood become unconventional? Have we seriously become incapable of differentiating between discomfort and true harassment or of taking responsibility for creating many of the problems we then turn to government and officialdom to solve?
Netflix, and entertainment in general, produce and present media that overwhelmingly revolve around violence or romantic involvement. Sophomoric humor abounds, much of it relating to behavior between the sexes. Sexual interplay between unmarried adults is presented as completely normal and natural. Perhaps employing some internal censorship to produce old-fashioned value-laden shows would be more effective than bulking up the employee instruction manual?
Some individuals have always faced more serious emotional challenges, but it seems to me that we should be worrying less about man-made global warming and instead focusing more on man-made psychological dysfunction. Parents in the 1940s kept their children away from swimming pools in the hope of shielding them from the polio virus. What should parents do today to increase their odds of raising mentally and morally healthy youth and swim upstream from a culture designed to produce the opposite? Should Netflix’s new rules simply be laughed at and headline grabbing dysfunction ignored as millions of parents are actually doing just fine? Are N. Korea and Iran a more serious threat than the suicide of western civilization? Or are things actually better than they seem and are the sensational headlines (to employ a frequently used phrase) just fake news and easily refuted by spending time with one’s rather normal friends and relatives?