Who would a thought a brightly colored plastic shopping cart bearing a Barney logo could spark such online debate?
The controversy actually stems from what's inside the carts: TV sets that play children's programming. And they only cost a $1 to use.
"TV Karts"--made by New Zealand-based Cabco and being tested in U.S. markets--are music to the ears of many bloggers, parents and non-parents alike, who are happy about the prospect of a quieter grocery-shopping experience. They would presumably keep kids safe in their cart, distracted from the food selection process and therefore less likely to whine for Pop-Tarts or white bread.
Of course, to some, the TV Kart is a symbol of our society gone completely awry. It's our job to teach our children how to sit tight, behave and self-entertain, they say, rather than to simply put them in front of yet another screen.
Blog community response:
"Totally mindboggling! I cannot understand how a whole chain of people thought this was a good idea. From the desinger to the producer and store owner to the parent...We implement technological solutions because we can--no thinking please! Scary stuff."
--Mathias Klang on Question Technology
"Do we really need this next trend in de-energizing our kids? I am not a parent and nor do I have extended practical experience in handling a rowdy kid in a shopping mall but I can say with relative confidence that this isn't the way we want to go...It is the rite of passage of any child to run up and down the aisles hoping against hope to get that one box of cereal that is the sugariest."
--Your Blog Title Goes Here
"I'm undecided as to whether this is good or bad, because I don't have a two year old or a gaggle of kids to take to the grocery store...yet. But I'm leaning towards bad. The grocery store can actually be educational for kids. But I also see many parents in the grocery store that look like they could commit harry-karry at any given moment because their kids are going nuts in the store."
--Kisses of Sunshine
"You know, I just can't help feeling like we're losing a losing battle to the TV. Put the kids in front of the TV at home, day care, the dentist and now the grocery. And I'm wondering if there are going to be any commercials to get our kids to beg and scream for the latest Fear Factor Pop-Ups."
"TV shopping cart entertains kids, kills dad's integrity...Hell, I'd push around a blue and green cart filled with cigarettes, beer and frozen pizza if it kept the tykes under control. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices."