The immediate reaction is hands raised in horror. How crass, how selfish, how insensitive!
But is it?
I remember as a kid having ‘quiet times’ on Christmas day. We had the ecstasy of early morning present-unwrapping – scarf, pencils, jigsaw, books, new jumper – then breakfast, followed by the first ‘quiet time’ when we looked at our presents, mother noting who had given us what as a prelude to the ‘thank you’ letters. We were encouraged to read our books, play with Mecanno, draw, play with Dinky Toys, form plasticine models, but quietly.
After lunch, we could take that new bike/scooter/ roller skates outside and let off steam. A hour later, rosy cheeks and dribbling noses, we came in for Christmas cake and a cup of tea. Then another quiet time before supper and bed.
So seguing out of the 1950s/1960s in to the 21st century… Presents opened to a glass of bubbly and Christmas music via iTunes and AppleTV, fun, thank yous, whoops of joy, chocs opened. Then a quiet time descends, netbooks, iPhones, Mcbooks, new 3G Kindles come out in companionable silence. An hour later and we stir to get showered and dressed, food gets put in the oven, a neighbour’s child calls asking for a lead for his brand new electric guitar, more bubbly. Conversation and catch-up between family members, talk of the digital future centered on content dissemination and useability.
Waiting for lunch, another mini-quiet time.
So in today’s quiet time, we catch up on Twitter, FaceBook, email, buy Kindle books.
Is this really so bad?