Thursday, April 5, 2012

A new tool for the doting parent: the iPad

This morning, my daughter's preschool had its big "Easter Show." It consisted of each class going to the stage at the front of the chapel (yes, it's a church preschool; sue me) and singing a couple of songs. The children had been rehearsing for weeks and the performances were not disappointing. Granted, the youngest groups were a little weak, but then they're not even three yet.

The school has six classes: two for the two's, two for the three's, and two for the four's. My daughter and her fellow four-year-old classmates performed a song called "Get Down" and the classic "This Little Light of Mine," both complete with accompanying pantomime. It was very sweet; they were dressed in their Easter Best and really got into performing.

The staff of the school--before the performances started--gave out some specific instructions: hold applause for each class until after the second song (almost no one followed this rule), keep the aisles the children are using clear (everyone did that), and wait until the end of the second song for photo ops (so-so on this; most listened).

With regard to the last, some parents wanted more than just photos, they wanted videos. The smart filmmakers stood against the far wall of the chapel--out of the way of everyone else--and filmed from there (I did this during the Christmas Show; worked well). Others lifted their hand-helds above their heads from their seats and filmed. Kind of tough to keep a clean shot, but okay; it's only a little obtrusive, given how small the typical camcorder or the like is these days.

However, one intrepid parent decided to use the camera on her iPad to film the performances. From her seat. Near the front. So, she held up the iPad with both hands and filmed. What's more, her iPad had a cover, which she left on and held to the side. Thus, she basically put up a 10 inch by 15 inch wall just above her head. Pity the fools seated directly behind her, right? I get the thinking: record it on the iPad so it can easily be disseminated to Facebook, email, or what have you. After all, if you use a typical camcorder, you have to take out the memory card and put it into a computer to transfer the video (I understand that come camcorders now have wireless capabilities, though). And that can take, what? Five minutes or even longer.

Really, I shouldn't be so snippy, because I know the parents at the school and haven't met any who strike me as bad or overly selfish people (because as we know, everyone is selfish to some degree). No doubt, this parent didn't think it through, didn't realize that making sure she fulfilled her own needs would impinge on the enjoyment of others during the show.

For those of you out there with young children who might have also not thought these things through, let this be your wake-up call. Image a show where the entire first couple of rows decided to hold up their iPads in the above manner. How would you feel if you were sitting behind them, trying to get a look at your young child's performance. Sure, if just one person is doing it, the affected people can crane their necks and look around the obstruction, but that doesn't make it okay, not in my opinion anyway.

Cheers, all.

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