Our culture has always been deeply consumerist, and it seems to me that we have lost the patience for, literally everything. Everything is about instant gratification. Not even one’s ideas are spared from our ravenous yet disinterested fast-food consumption. If you see a blog post that requires three or more mouse scrolls, would you still be interested in reading it?
Literature exists in lists now. We consume information, ideas, and creativity via large and bold-fonted listopia. Everywhere I look: lists. How to lead a healthier life in steps one to five. Five movies you wish you have never watched. Twenty-nine dogs you won’t believe actually exist. List after list after list. Did our attention span dwindle to that of a child’s? Is it that hard to sit through a fifteen-minute read–a fifteen-minute composition, instead of this instantaneous stream of ordered information designed to spoon-feed all we needed to know in less than a minute?
Is that why Youtube videos are edited in such a way that the video restarts every few seconds with a new cut, punctuating each sentence, each remark, each joke, or each action? Is this like a refresh button for our mind, for our attention? Let’s face it. If you find a Youtube video with no cuts at all, would you continue watching it?
I feel like our lives, our narrative, or our “sequence” is continuously interrupted. These little things that surround us pace our lives at a quickened tempo, forever accelerating in short bursts towards…nowhere. Maybe that’s why we are so busy these days. Most of us can’t find the time to do anything. It’s like we are short-circuiting every day, and we’re not really functioning.
I refused to be babied, which is why I unsubscribed to virtually everything I have subscribed to. Bookstores don’t count because I get discount codes. I also stopped watching inane Youtube videos: 2014 Fail Compilations. Top 5 Video Game Deaths. What do I remember after watching those videos? Absolutely nothing. They’re just fillers of actual time, a limbo in our state of mind that we get sucked into when we procrastinate, which usually happens when we are tired and lazy.
There are so many distractions nowadays. So many distractions available for us to distract ourselves. Youtube, social media, cellphones, apps…it’s probably a bit presumptuous and abstract to sum things up this way, but I feel like these technological advances and social changes are pulling us further and further away from our reality. And that’s a scary thing.