DATELINE NEW YORK–The results of a new national survey show that many videographers have trouble with their marriages. Survey expert George Canter says the trouble may be rooted in endemic personality traits of videographers. “They like to spend an enormous amount of time alone and feel comfortable with the fact that even their closest relations haven’t the faintest understanding of what they do, or why. This personality profile holds a strong desire to communicate to the world–therefore the interest in the television medium–but nevertheless exhibits few communicative urges in day-to-day interactions.

“Finding a very high percentage of compulsive introverts among the ranks of videographers came as no surprise. It was the responses from the spouses of videographers that alarmed us.

“Here’s the typical spousal profile. She encounters her spouse seldom, and even then only when he’s placed a camera between them. She seldom hears his voice because he seldom speaks, but he often prods her to speak long soliloquies into a lens. She develops an increasing sense of isolation, alienation. She doesn’t have the words to explain her plight to family, friends, minister or helping professional. Yet she supports her husband’s video addiction as it seems his only means for self expression. She never has an unkind word for one of his tapes, no matter how bad it is.

“What we are seeing here is a new kind of marital dysfunction. We’re calling it co-video- dependency syndrome. The video co-dependent lives a sad, solitary life. Once the public hears of this study, though, we believe millions of these people will make themselves known. They will no longer suffer quietly once they know they share their plight with others. We may witness a rising tide of dissatisfaction from co-video-dependent spouses. Unless afflicted couples find and apply effective solutions, we may see a tide of family breakups bigger than any since the first television was purchased.”

At this point in the proceedings, George Canter turned the stage over to his colleague, Harry Adler. Harry is a clinical psychologist. George Canter said he might have some answers for co-video- dependent couples.

Stepping to the lectern, Harry said, “The best way to explain my solution is to tell you the story of a couple I’ve been counseling. A case of classic co-video dependency, let’s call them Bill and Sadie. After weeks of video-deprivation therapy, I got Bill to see that Sadie needed two things from him: affection and communication. He seemed to take my advice to heart, and their marriage has improved thereafter.

“Sadie told me that Bill will now frequently give her a hug or a peck accompanied by some important verbal communication. ‘First,’ she said, ‘he kissed my forehead and told me that the color temperature of noontime sunlight is about 5200 degrees Kelvin. I was shocked and amazed. I hadn’t heard a word out of him for two months before that. When he saw how well I responded, I could see him make an inward commitment to keep the lines of communication open from then on. Now, whenever he hugs me he provides a bit of interesting information about the things he loves the most. Why, just this morning I learned that the aspect ratio is three to four, that voltage depression is usually not battery memory and that one foot-candle equals 10.76 lux.'”

Stephen Muratore is Videomaker‘s Editor in Chief.

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