When technology fails you…

My wife wanted to get something off her chest today.

Every mom dreads when the babysitter cancels. Or in modern day cases, when the digital “babysitter” suddenly malfunctions at the worst possible time. How many of us need to jump into the shower, or similar, and rely on the DVR or tablet to occupy our kid while we escape for five minutes? TiVo failed me big time this morning and even had our toddler throwing her hands up shouting “Alexa, fix it!”

TiVo’s infamous “my TiVo gets me” slogan no longer applies. Because it picked the worst possible time to flake out today. So I scrambled to find a replacement “babysitter” and encouraged our nearly 3-year old to sit down and read a book. READ A BOOK! The paper kind where she can happily scrunch and tear the pages while looking at colorful pictures along mostly indecipherable letters. No, not the battery-powered kind where I ask the hubby “why didn’t you charge the iPad?”

When I walked out of the shower and saw our child reading a book it was a reminder that she actually listens and follows directions, at times, and can find stimulation in other realms — a reminder that many of us depend too heavily on technology to entertain our kids.

So my resolution for 2019 is to do less of that. To find other ways to engage my kid when I need a few minutes of me time. Hopefully I can find a healthy balance. After all, Dave is an amazing tech guru who would never allow the Zatz household to be without the newest and greatest. But babe, it’s time to divorce the TiVo because I need a more reliable babysitter!

13 thoughts on “When technology fails you…”

  1. Not sure. Checking with wife. I assume she turned on the television and hit the TiVo button to get started looking for a recording for our daughter. She tells me that by the time she had come out of the shower, the issue had been resolved. But it’s disconcerting – wonder if the fall/winter update didn’t apply right or if this TiVo Mini is failing.

  2. Heard back. She had taken a couple seconds to get to the recordings list and start a show, left for a minute, and then daughter summoned her back in as the error screen had been triggered. Who knows.

  3. I’ve seen my fair share of TiVo error screens (unfortunately) but this one I find particularly disturbing. Glad it worked itself out.

  4. I’m not a Mini expert, but my guess is that it has a file system mounted on an internal SD card or other solid state memory to support the OS. There may have been a file system integrity problem that triggered this error. That might also explain why it recovered so quickly.

    Also, bravo to Dave and his wife for teaching their child how to entertain themselves instead of being solely dependent on technology to entertain them.

  5. Well… it’s a work in progress. :) We relied a little too heavily on video to get through some early feeding/weight/growth challenges. But she loves being active with her playsets, drawing, building, etc so hopefully we didn’t damage her too badly. Also I’m pretty sure her amazing vocabulary is partially due to video. And not all the video is bad – some good educational stuff out there, in the form of entertainment, way better than when I was a child. Also we watch animal videos on YouTube, like baby pandas and koalas. But we’re at the point where she can’t be left alone with a tablet or phone and YouTube… too easy to get to bad stuff by mistake. Even YouTube Kids isn’t entirely appropriate – she stumbled onto a video of doll decapitations which might be funny for an older child, but not for her age group.

  6. I keep getting some bad ad pop up windows from this article, appears that some advertiser is misbehaving. I have a screen capture of the pop up if you are interested.

  7. Hey Dan, sorry about that. Please send the screen capture my way and I’ll route it upstream. Although I don’t have high hopes. These things seem impossible to track down. :/ Thanks! davezatz@gmail

  8. Wait. The TiVo, crashed, displayed a scary looking message, rebooted and went back to working normally. And the “downside” of this disruption is your adorable ?daughter opened a book and amused herself for awhile?

    And your reaction to all this is “divorce the TiVo”?

    I still like my TiVos. And I’m glad for you this temporary disruption of service seems on the relatively harsh side of things you experience.

  9. Well… this was supposed to be a fun and somewhat tongue-in-cheek post. At the time, my wife didn’t know it would be a quick fix or fixed at all and a distraught toddler is not always easily redirected. But, yup, it worked out fine and over the years, TiVo has been one of the most reliable products we’ve owned. Even through their dark years.

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