The other day I was flipping through my phone and an ad popped up for a t-shirt. Yup, the Christmas elves of targeted marketing were working their magic for sales pitches. The major problem is they really don’t know who they’re pitching to, and I actually found the message on the shirt offensive and very sad.
It read: (and I’ve written it exactly as it shows on the shirt.)
I DON'T ALWAYS PLAY VIDEO GAMES SOMETIMES i eat and sleep and once i even left my room
I’m sure many of you will see laughable truth in this statement, but some may also see the social anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, avoidance, and addiction issues.
It makes me wonder who’d buy such a shirt for someone in their life.
Or perhaps I’m way off and it’s funny.
Please tell me—am I being too uptight? Is this something to laugh about? Am I simply an old Auntie reading too much between the lines and looking for the worst?
Seriously, I’d like to know because I’ve seen too many kids go down this very road to shut themselves off from the world and live like hermits because they can’t face the larger societal expectations involving social interactions with living, breathing individuals.
Too many are glued to the screen playing videos at every waking moment. This behaviour is not only unhealthy in a physical sense but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Maybe you know someone who is the epitome of that “funny” shirt scenario. Someone who rarely comes up for air and has lost the potential to cope and communicate on a level with his/her peers. Or has gone down that rabbit hole of addiction—to the screen, the game, the anonymous online interaction, the junk food that gets consumed—just to name a few.
This isn’t funny. It’s a serious problem. It speaks to some serious issues like depression. I’m not talking about a weekend of binge gaming with your buds–go for it. I’m talking about the dark hole that can swallow up some kids to a point where they don’t know how to get out. This is not only scary but creates stress and concern in the family dynamic.
There are many issues involved and it’s not just video games. It’s loneliness, self-esteem issues, and other mental health goings ons. If your kid is holed up playing video games and only coming out at odd times for food then there’s a real issue. Contact your local mental health professional for advice.
There’s just one more thing.
The shirt shows “I” in lower case. This is diminishing of the individual. I know that too may sound uptight, but to me it’s a targeted subliminal message that the individual is less than deserving of being acknowledged.
Okay, I have one more point.
Please don’t buy this shirt for your kid. It’s really not funny.
If this describes your kid–don’t let it slide. Talk about it. Do some research and seek help if required.
When you label yourself as a certain kind of person–like that depicted on the shirt–it can be funny to some and not others. If you know there are issues with addiction and social anxiety then don’t make fun of them and/or support it by purchasing such stuff.