“Boredom”, the modern Art form.
My father used to say that if you are bored it is because ‘you’ are boring. They were wise words. Parents knew more then. If fifty years ago someone would have said that in the future a majority of people would spend a large part of their lives staring at small square objects, they would have called for a strong nurse with a straightjacket and some tablets. My parents would probably conclude by saying, “you and the whole world have all become boring”.
Yet, today this has become the norm. No matter where one goes, it is the same sad sight. There they are, all stooped over their IPod, IPad, Kindle, mobile phone or some other small square object. It seems to have overtaken all in its path, a tsunami of hundreds of millions worldwide stooping down, staring at their laps, oblivious of climate, people, geographical situation or indeed life itself. Who on earth would have thought it even remotely possible?
How did this come about and why? Years ago, we used to talk, look at each other. Do you still remember the sound of words when people opened their mouths? We exchanged ideas became animated and bounced of each other’s differences and enjoyed social intercourse. Trains and trams had passengers that talked, used real words with utterances of sounds. It’s eerily quiet now on the train, heads bowed in obedience to the square gadget. People and voice connectivity has now been replaced with a set of electronic devices which connects us, supposedly, to a different level of public togetherness which is called ‘social media’. We have books now which instead of words in a certain and highly individual order, as in the past, have now been replaced with ‘face books’. It’s all part of this phenomenon of ‘social media’, and is a world- wide movement keeping us ‘in touch’. In touch with what? In touch with that square object in your lap, isn’t it?
Together with keeping in touch through the new ‘social media’ there has been a marked decline in children on the streets. There is no more need for that because they all keep in touch with each other through their electric Face- books. It even shows a picture of your friend, what more could you probably want from friendship? You exchange sharp little messages, such as “I am here, where are you”? Or, “how many friends have you on Face-book?” “I have thirty six now, but have dumped Sharon”; “she is such a bitch”. “Have you still got Sharon on yours?” Nah. (Three months later Sharon has hanged herself).
Of course, interconnectivity is what we are all on about. We connect as never before and have even become intimate with our TV, also involving it with our need to socially be ‘involved’. Rhythmically we sway in front of it, our Wii consoles talking to us, interlude and interactive with music, keeping us in touch with ourselves and as an extra bonus keeping us fit. A newer version has hit the market. It is a device that mirrors our movement in front of the TV. This is so great for involvement of many of us with immediate proof of it and directly in front of us on TV and our own eyes. Think of it, hundreds of millions in the most extraordinary physical contortions in front of the TV all busy with ‘media’ in one form or the other. And then there is all that texting and tweeting to get involved with. It just never stops with all that ‘socially connectivity.’ It’s all so much me and more of me.
At school drop-off’s and pick-ups, again the same world of those little square devices, mothers, sometimes fathers, all on their e-phones, texting while waving a hand to their off-spring. How will language as we know it survive? Tweeting limits itself to one hundred forty characters. In days gone by, the art of writing was abandonment in using words not counting characters.
Mind you, there is light at the tunnel. Already the innovation in pushing more of those devices onto the market has calmed down. Perhaps, the limit has been reached. After all, we cannot just phone, but also e-mail, send pictures and locate where we are, all on the one gadget. What more could one want? It seems that apart from ‘astral travel’ electronically, the end of this rather silly ‘social media’ might have been reached.
In my area, the local skate-board park is busy with kids queuing up. Are they getting fed up with all those little gadgets? I sincerely hope so. Kids are not boring but those addicted to ‘social media’ are. They are so….. utterly boring.