Sports, movies, gaming, TV shows, reality shows, magazines and all other shapes of entertainment are part of our daily lives. We engage them, we pick our favorites and sides, we stand by them and sometimes we identify with “our” teams or favorite characters. They help us feel alive, they help us pass the monotony of the day, they even help us cope with the difficulties that life throws at us. This is all great, we should have something that gives us moments of fun and exuberance, something that helps us fight loneliness and cope with life. Sometimes they help us meet new people, make connections, we have more topics of conversation because of them, this is also a great thing.
However, as you may already feel it coming, I also have something bad to say about these – There is a “but” coming along somewhere. So, without sugarcoating it, here it is:
People take it too far.
All of those things are an O.K. distraction, but that is all they are and all they should be perceived as – a distraction.
Unfortunately we let some of these things manage our lives, sometimes we even let these distractions influence us so much as we start personally identifying with them. Instead of a facilitator for social interaction, TV shows, gaming, movies and sports (watching not participating in them) we let these things substitute our interactions, they become all that we have in a certain moment in life.
I’m not coming out of some moral high ground here either. My life has revolved around gaming in my past and it still does from time to time. The important thing is to realize that, there is nothing to be gained from playing 6 hours straight, there is no “greater” philosophy to be learned from watching some TV show, even if the actors are sharply and smartly portrayed. It’s not that you don’t learn anything, rather that you can just as easily learn the same and probably more from researching – and NO, I’m not one of those people chanting about how we should all be reading books. In fact, researching other media (especially the internet) can be just as educative or informative and therefore valuable. The main thing, the main take away from this is, that in all of those things there is a trade-off. We engage in comfort and we loose value, the currency with which this transaction is paid by is: time.