Elf on the Shelf is supposedly a great way to get your kids to STFU and do what they’re told for the month of December, as I’ve learned in recent years thanks to the parents I know on Facebook. However, one University of Ontario professor claims that something more nefarious might be going on: we might be unknowingly conditioning our kids to accept a 1984-esque police state. THANKS OBAMA.
Laura Pinto, a digital technology professor for the University of Ontario’s Institute of Technology, published a paper titled “Who’s the Boss,” which discusses “Elf on the Shelf and the normalization of surveillance.” From EAG news:
“You’re teaching (kids) a bigger lesson, which is that it’s OK for other people to spy on you and you’re not entitled to privacy,” she tells the Toronto Star.
She calls the elf “an external form of non-familial surveillance,” and says it’s potentially conditioning children to accept the state acting that way, too.
“If you grow up thinking it’s cool for the elves to watch me and report back to Santa, well, then it’s cool for the NSA to watch me and report back to the government,” according to Pinto.
I’m no parent, but training your kids to succumb to a police state seems like a small price to pay for a few weeks of goddamn peace and quiet once a year. Irish up your coffee a little more than usual this morning, Elf on the Shelf moms, you’ve earned it.