Friday, August 5, 2016

7 Reasons Not To Have a DVD Player In the Car

Modern technology is great, isn't it? Twenty years ago if you had told us all the things we could do with our phones we would have been amazed.

But, sometimes we end up with technology that we don't really need. We don't need Belty, the smart belt. (It tells you when you need to lose weight.) No one needs a quesadilla maker. (If you can't make a quesadilla without a quesadilla maker, you'd better just stick to Pop Tarts or eating out at Taco Bell.)

And nobody needs a DVD player in their vehicle!

When The Wife and I were at the car dealership, looking to buy our first mini-van, the salesman came to us with a worried look on his face. "I'm sorry," he said in a tone usually reserved for doctors about to give bad news, "but the van you've chosen doesn't have a DVD player in it." He looked devastated, but The Wife and I smiled and gave each other a mental high five. Little did the salesman know that not having a DVD player was a major selling point for us. We signed the paperwork then and there!

At this point I should say that many people do have DVD players in their vehicles, and they like them. And there's nothing wrong with that. I just don't want one in my car. Why? I have my reasons. In fact, here they are:

1. Kids need to look at what's around them.
One of the best things about a long drive is looking at the scenery. There are mountains, lakes, trees, and landmarks to be seen, but the kids won't ever notice them if they spend all their time focused on Buzz and Woody.

2. Kids need to learn how to self entertain.
Another fun aspect of a long road trip is the family togetherness. You get to sing songs together, or play the alphabet game, or count the state license plates. The road is a good place for kids to use their imaginations, not just stare blankly at yet another screen.

3. Minimizes screen time.
Don't the kids have enough time gawking at screens at home? Between television, movies, phones, and computers, kids spend an enormous amount of time looking at screens. Give them a break.

4. One less thing for kids to fight about.
Face it, do the kids ever agree on which movie to watch? If you don't have a DVD player, you won't have to listen to, "I want Frozen!" "I want Incredibles!" or "I want Cars 2!" for the entire trip. (And if you have a kid who is requesting Cars 2, my sincerest condolences.)

So many movies to argue about!
5. Don't have to pack the DVDs.
Packing for a long trip is stressful enough without having to remember to bring all the DVDs. And if you're like us at all, you'll already be using every square inch for underwear, pajamas, snack food, and beach towels. Just leave the DVDs home.

6. Don't measure distances in number of movies needed.
Saying things like, "It takes three movies to get to Grandpa Bob's house," or "Disneyland is just a five movie drive away," sound pretty silly. Besides, it depends on the length of the movies. A seven-movie drive might be the same as a three-movie drive, if those three movies are Lord of the Rings movies.

7. Not a distraction to other drivers.
Admit it, when you pass a car with DVD players a-going, you try to see what movie it is that they are watching. You might even slow down and drive along side them to get a better glimpse. You may even get a little judgmental. ("Are they really letting their little kids watch Deadpool?") It's amazing there aren't more accidents caused by these close-driving DVD lookie-loos.

So, there you have it: seven very sound reasons why you shouldn't have a DVD player in your vehicle. Of course, you may decide that you want one anyway. That's totally up to you. Just don't blame me when you get sideswiped by the guy trying to figure out if your kids are watching Monsters, Inc. or Monsters University.

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