Posted Jul 21, 2010 in Tech | 0 Comments

Are you boring?

It is becoming a very rare sight, someone walking alone with no headsets, no cellphone in hand, no bluetooth in one year, no media connectivity at all, just walking and enjoying the scenery. It seems that even while we’re out and about we have a need for entertainment. And this raises a few questions: How bored are you of you? Do we really need constant entertainment and distractions? Is the ease of media access killing our attention span?

Some years ago, a McGill professor was giving a speech strongly advocating alone time. He was a strong believer in self-talk and his philosophy stated that in order to actively learn for your own experiences you need to have a periodical talk with yourself in which you should review the important events and your performance in them. In today’s world of RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, IMs and email, our personal time is in high demand, so not many of us have the time to “waste” on self talks and reflection. This, in turn, is making you a stranger to yourself. Just think of how many times you’ve heard people telling you that they need to take the some time to find themselves, and then actually do take that time.

In Japan, one out of every three cars has a live TV in it, and this trend is growing in the North American and European markets. And if there’s no TV, there’s a cellphone, or a talking GPS, or at least sound system; how many times have you driven in complete silence? More and more, we seem to need to be entertained constantly and we are afraid to be alone. Media groups thrive on this, you can’t even go to the bathroom anymore without having a screen in front of you displaying some advertisement. A Montreal based technology company developed a whole product line based on an ad the CEO saw while in front of the urinal. It’s our need for distractions that brings these marketing tools to us. When asked, “How many times did people complain about the bathroom screens?” fourteen different restaurant owners said that they only received praise from their patrons.

A few of our friends are school teachers and they constantly complain about the lack of attention span that the kids display in class, how easily they are distracted and how hard it is to bring their focus back. These days, in North America, most bad things are blamed on TV and very few on social behavior. Adults that are impatient will pass on this trait to their children, and since our society is impatient and hungry for new things, it is only normal that its members will inherit the same traits.

It’s easy to get lost in the surrounding technology and identify oneself with a job and social functions, however the human being, naked and alone, is still a marvelous piece of technology and our brain has a potential for imagination immensely larger than YouTube. Enjoy, YOU!!

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