Child Minding Robots

Decades ago – but not too many – science fiction writers used to hypothesize, speculate,  write fiction on what child  minding robots might be like.  Did they ever come to be.

Well here they are.

And they are so different to what was expected or imagined that it seems hardly anyone even realises they’re here.

But who looks after children any more?

Where are all the bored, idle children, meat for the devil ‘finding work for idle hands’ ?   Children ‘up to mischief’ ?

Children whining they’ve got nothing to do.  Children complaining their toy isn’t as good as the neighbour’s toy?

Children always getting in your way wanting to help and see what you’re doing?

Children constantly coming up with schemes for something new they want to do, with our without you?

Where are the children?

In the parks? In the streets?  Hanging around the kitchen? In the lounge?  In the backyard?

Nope.  Gone.

Where are they?  Sitting around somewhere unobtrusive and playing with a smartphone or a laptop or a computer.

Where they’ll easily spend half a day given the chance.  12 hours, no problem.

Day after day after day.

I’ve seen it and tested it.  A whole two weeks school holiday and two children who spent the whole time doing that: ‘interacting’ with their phones, computers, whatever.

And those phones, laptops, computers – they all talk to each other, via the internet, don’t they?

And they talk to other computers: ‘servers’  that no one has ever seen (of us) and which serve up all kinds of stuff:  games, movies, current affairs, porn, education…. everything.

So it turns out there’s really just one great big ‘computer’ or ‘cybermachine’ to which all the kids are connected.

And it looks after them,  tends, apparently, to their every need for hours and hours and days and days on end…

A child minding robot.

A global child minding robot.

And it has taken our children like the pied piper and, unlike the pied piper, it will never give them back.

But it is peaceful without them, isn’t it?


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