Posted by: laughs4dads | June 9, 2010

It’s Like You Can Reach Out and Vomit

My series on child safety continues today with this warning to parents:

“Altered vision; lightheadedness; dizziness; involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; confusion; nausea; convulsions; cramps; and/or disorientation. Children and teenagers may be more likely than adults to experience these symptoms. Parents should monitor their children and ask whether they are experiencing these symptoms.”

While this may sound like two thirds of any commercial for a prescription drug, it is not. Neither is it a list of symptoms from the latest exotic flu bug that the media will make a big deal about until it fades away. (“Health officials announced today that a person in New Jersey has died soon after contracting the kangaroo flu which previously was found only among the aboriginal people of Australia. This person actually died of getting hit by a bus, but he did have this flu, and researchers are hard at work developing a vaccine that will be in short supply when it is developed so in the meantime DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!”)

Um, what was I talking about? Oh, right, the warning above. The symptoms are not from a WebMD listing, nor are they from a medication. They are, in fact, from the Samsung electronics website, and they are describing what may happen from…wait for it…watching their new 3D TV!

That’s right. Parents now not only have to worry about how much TV their kids watch, but how many dimensions they’re watching it in!

Of course, we all know teenagers who occasionally have many of the symptoms above without even owning a 3D TV. In fact, it seems like a waste of money to buy a new TV when most of the same results can be achieved through the use of drugs or alcohol, and with, apparently, fewer side effects. Especially since, according to Samsung:

“Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.”

Given all these potential dangers, you’d think our kids could get by watching Hannah Montana in plain old high def with surround sound, but you know that the “early adopters” out there will run right out and get a 3D TV, and you can be absolutely certain that within a week, you’ll hear about some idiot who walked off a cliff or something because they were still wearing the 3D glasses, which come in a variety of styles that resemble sunglasses and which, by the way, use special batteries, which means that before too long, we’ll probably be reading reports about how they cause cancer in mice, which has to make you feel sorry for the mice, since they’ll already be staggering around their mazes and having convulsions from watching 3D TV.

Now, in all fairness, I’m sure most of Samsung’s disclaimers are the results of over-zealous, anal-retentive lawyers covering their asses, and that watching 3D TV is as safe for your children as, say, sending text messages every waking moment of the day. Still, given the symptoms above and the susceptibility of children to experience them, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to package the 3D TV with a free 3D kids’ movie.

Anyway, 3D TV is still in its very early stages, and it will probably be another year or so before the first lawsuits begin.   Meanwhile, my father didn’t get a color TV until 1968 (“I’m waiting for them to perfect it.”), and it took me about a decade to go from cassettes to CDs (“But I have all these tapes!”), so by the time I’m ready to get a 3D TV, it will be symptom-free.

Or holographic.

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