Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amusement and Distractions

I've recently noticed that many people are distracted from reality. I think I am definitely guilty of this too. After a long day of work I find myself escaping by watching the latest sports updates on Youtube, checking Facebook, my e-mail, and blogging. I usually spend much more time doing these activities than I intended.

I'm sure I'm not alone. It's rare to see teenagers these days who are not always texting, playing computer games, or with ear buds in their ears while they are at social gatherings. I think as a society we have a short attention span and believe it's painful and torturous to sit quietly and be forced to think without multi tasking or doing something to stay amused. We are definitely less social despite all the virtual and superficial connections we have to each other.

I'm reminded how the Romans kept the masses happy and distracted from their problems by providing games in the Colosseum. Rather than watching chariot races and gladiators kill each other, today we watch sports, American Idol, and hundreds of other popular TV shows instead.


I've never read Gulliver's Travels, but I did watch a TV mini series years ago. (I can say that about a lot of books.) The most memorable scene for me was when Gulliver was tying to continue his journey and he stopped by a sorcerers palace played by Omar Sharif. He invited him to stay that night to rest up and eat before he continued his journey the next morning. He continued giving him the same invitation every day before he finally realized he was under a spell and had actually been living there for several years and had been distracted  from his journey. Sound familiar?

I'm also reminded of Pinocchio when the boys go to Pleasure Island and are enjoying themselves so much with all the fun and diversions that they don't realize that they are turning into asses.

I hate doing social commentaries, but I have a blog post that needs to be written and it is either address this topic or write a second installment to my apple fritter post. So does this mean I am no longer going to spend time on my computer? Heck no, but I will try to break the habit of turning off my brain and escaping reality with all the amusement and distractions that surround us.

6 comments:

Eric said...

Reality is a bit blurry these days. I chop stone to keep it real.

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...

I had a similar conversation with a good friend of mine who ia an attorney. She said and agreed that we are both "crazy" somewhat and therfore our "distractions" are a away to let our wandering minds rest.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Bread and circuses brother. Somedays it's the only thing that keeps me off the water tower with a rifle. Besides, why should I have to share the remote with anyone when I control my destiny and my entertainment with a single click. Too bad people we are forced to interact with didn't come with their own delete button.

Cheeseboy said...

Amen! Interesting that you compare us to Roman times. I wonder if the folks in Roman times would have been distracted by iPhones if they had them. I can just imagine a huge Roman battle going on and in the audience, there are all these folks with iPhones.

Kal said...

It would be like in that Star Trek episode - the coliseum events would have a terrific audience especially during those nights when they showed executions.

M-Cat said...

Excellent commentary.

Just today in church, I look over at my 23 year old son who is TEXTING during the sacrament (most important/holy/sacred part of our meeting)

Dude - it's a sad state of affairs. And I think I am just as guilty myself.....