Christopher Roubo - Manifesto

1. Television should not be used to raise children.

Raising children is of course no easy task. Not having any children of my own to be responsible for, I can’t judge parents who do things that I’d like to think I wouldn’t do if I did have any kids, such as buy my 8-year-old a Bluetooth headset or use the television as a distraction when I need some space.

I’m not saying these are signs of bad parenting and I’m not saying all television is bad either, but I don’t believe little kids should be plopped down in front for too long in order to keep them occupied. Too much TV can lead to little time for a kid to exercise his or her brain, even if he or she spends a lot of time watching Nick Jr. (I’m often reminded of the Simpsons episode when Bart tries to use his imagination for an exciting school fieldtrip and can’t think of anything past visiting the box factory because his imagination has been ruined).

I know it seems like the easy way out, but sometimes the harder way is necessary to help children grow and develop their young minds. The more mentally-stimulating activities a child can spend time doing instead of sitting in front of the television, the better.

2. We should learn when to adapt to technological progression instead of fighting it.

Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. The idea of transferring literary works from printed books to electronic devices such as the Kindle seems to be an unappealing one for many. At the same time however, with the advances technology is making, it also only seems like the natural next step to take for reading.

Even before electronic books came along, there were already audio books, which required no reading of any sort and could allow one to finish a book in relatively much shorter amount of time than he or she would have taken to read through it. At least Kindle still allows people to read their books.

This is just one example though. There’re also concerns regarding how technology is affecting the music industry. Are musicians hurting because their music is being illegally downloaded more and more frequently? Are movies suffering more now that viewers can stream shows and movies online for free? And likewise, how much are video rental stores hurting because of Netflix and Redbox?

I think this change in which electronics have become the new medium for most media started with the newspapers. When online sites started posting news stories, many newspapers had to adapt or risk losing business. You can fight the change all you want but progression is a natural part of life and steps should be taken to work around it rather than try to get rid of it.

3. The creative aspect of viral videos and internet celebrities should be encouraged.

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming small-time celebrities after having popular videos shown on either YouTube or other video sites. Justin Beiber, for instance was discovered YouTube and now is a huge pop sensation. Antoine Dodson became a small-time celebrity after having his “Hide your Wives” speech turned into an auto-tune song, even making a surprise appearance at the BET music awards, singing his famous song.

To me, this says celebrity status is becoming less of what it used to be in that people can gain some level of success after showcasing their creative processes. I still continue to see multiple examples of people who demonstrate a strong talent in creating little segments or songs that don’t really amount to much, but they still showcase how these people can

Two examples that spring to mind are the Nostalgic Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd, two nerds who create videos online making fun of old shows, movies, and video games for the sake of humor. Neither one will amount to any more than an internet celebrity, but their videos do demonstrate how they can write and edit comedy sketches that pull in a large amount of fans (so much so, that the NC and AVGN have even been mentioned in Entrepreneur magazine and on CNN respectively).

4. The line between fantasy and reality should be carefully watched.

Virtual reality is becoming prevalent as technology becomes more advanced. Video games are becoming more realistic, so much so that now games are incorporating motion detection requiring active participation from players. Likewise,
animated pop singers can now be seen performing for live concerts. While there is no harm to these particular areas now, they do leave to question how much more advanced virtual reality will become in, say, 20 or 30 years from now. For instance, will professional artists eventually be replaced with computer-generated characters?

There are also reports of issues such as the parents who neglected their child until it died because they were too preoccupied taking care of their virtual baby. There was also the man who starved to death because he became so obsessed with playing World of Warcraft. While most people obviously don’t suffer from such problems, these do reflect WHY people need to learn not let virtual reality overcome their lives.