Digital Pandemic

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My Mommy, the Robot

Technology allows for guilt-free parenting.

Now, for the first time, advanced technology frees working parents from guilt associated with not being home with their children enough. Little Sarah Jenkins never feels lonely. She has her dog Angel, and of course her Mommy-Love, a 4-foot-tall AIBO (Artificial Intelligent Robot) wrapped in warm, soft blankets that smell of fresh roses –– Sarah's favorites. Her other mommy, the one she calls “Mommy Other One,” is the lady she sees for a few minutes before the pre-school bus arrives, after dark, and occasionally on the weekends. 

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the world of digital parenting.

Healthy–Genius Corporation (HG) allows parents to pursue their own career goals, unencumbered by guilt and with the certain knowledge that their kids are learning and growing in an ultra-rich and progressive environment. Praised by leading child psychologists, the program has undergone rigorous scientific review. The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have conducted animal tests including a subject-balanced, peer-reviewed study employing Pomeranian dogs (average median weight 4 lbs, 6 ounces) and Great Danes (average median weight 154 lbs, 8 ounces).

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After three months in the (HG) program, tail wagging showed a statistically significant increase at the .01 level of confidence. Longitudinal human studies are still in progress but NIMH Science Panel assures us that their findings will replicate those found in animal studies.

Tammy Jenkins, “Mommy Other One,” who is Sarah’s biological mother, is able to monitor Sarah’s behavior and emotions more objectively from her workplace than would be possible in the stressful and hectic atmosphere of the home environment. Aunt Trudy, a PARO robot (modeled on a baby harp seal) with a stainless steel tag embedded with an accelerometer, registers Sarah's every move, along with vital signs such as blood sugar level, temperature and heart rate. Big brother George, an ASIMO (advanced humanoid), has a tracking capability that is built into the doors of the house. He collects data on Sarah’s travels and can restrict her movement from one part of the house to the other. Uncle Jim, (a playful Sony Qrio robot) loves cigars but is not allowed to smoke inside the house. 

Grandpa Ned HRP-4 (Kawada Industries) robot provides assorted treadmills and other physical activities, while Big Brother George delivers snacks when Aunt Trudy signals that Sarah’s blood sugar level needs replenishment. Of course, all of this is under the supervision of Sarah’s Mommy-Love. This totally reliable soul-robot is a real hugger and satisfies Sarah’s needs for affection while reading government approved stories and supervising Sarah’s use of electronic games.

In the event of an emergency, Mommy- Love carries a .38 caliber pistol and a fire ax. She is the proud possessor of a concealed weapon permit and attends monthly target practice at the St. Petersburg, Fla. police pistol range –– where she has achieved marksmanship status.

A big family is a happy family! With (HG), Sarah is not only nurtured and stimulated; government research shows that she is much safer than in pre-school or with her multi-tasking parents. 

Ladies and Gentlemen –– you are invited to join other parents who wish only the best for their children. No more hassle; no more ill will. Think of how your child will prosper in this perfect family setting. And children who complete the 12-year program will also receive a full, four-year scholarship to a Florida university with pre-selected majors in either Obedience Training or Animal Husbandry.

Naturally, such a distinguished program is expensive, but thankfully the federal government will cover 100 percent of all costs! Parents need merely to agree to all provisions in the contract, including curriculum materials and books and lectures created by government scientists. If biological parents disagree with members of Sarah’s family team, a special impartial committee of new and advanced production models will review videotapes and biological data before rendering a binding decision.

For more information on this program, please be in touch with (HG) Enterprises. Not all applicants are accepted and interviews with Mommy-Love, Aunt Trudy, Uncle Jim, Grandpa Ned and Brother George are required for admission.

Mack Hicks, Ph.D., is a psychologist and author of The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age.

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