Go back in time. Go way back. Before there was TV.
Families sat around reading books, playing games and doing whatever other indoor activities they could do all gathered in a central room in the house. Usually the den. I don’t even hear people talk about a room called a “den” any more.
Well, it was called a den because it’s where families huddled in safety for whatever evening entertainment would ensue. The den is where we gathered to watch TV, interact with other family members, play games or whatever happened to be on the evening agenda. Happily, I was born after automobiles and black & white TV’s were invented. I don’t remember a time before television, but I do remember a time before COLOR television.
Not long ago I was watching some show on Discovery or some such channel. The show interviewed some folks from Appalachia who lived down in the “holler” where TV and cell signals didn’t venture. Lots of drinking for sure, but also lots of singing and playing music. Boredom will do that for you. Drive you to drink or learn to play the banjo!
We’re too entertained today. Too entertained to do more creative stuff.
Kids are stuck inside glued to screens playing video games. Too few aren’t reading, or writing, or drawing, or playing an instrument, or shooting photos or something else creative.
Parents have their eyeballs constantly focused on a 3.5″ screen, a 9″ iPad or some other electronic device. They don’t notice the people around them. They can barely avoid walking into walls, glass doors or poles.
Young people have earbuds in, listening to tunes while they text or SnapChat with friends. They sit in silence across from one another speaking only in electronic texts.
We’re Vine’ing the moments of our life filling the cloud with infinite gigabytes, one snippet at a time. If we’re not recording a selfie, we’re watching someone else’s.
We’re mic’d up, screen’d up, keyboard’d up and tethered to an endless universe of constant stimulus. Or is it stimuli?
We’re constantly stimulated.
Chasing fans, followers and friends — we’re content creation, content consuming fools.
I just wish I was bored enough to actually sit down with the guitar to learn how to play it. Maybe I need to move to Appalachia. Since I don’t drink I might have a shot at learning to actually play music instead of just listening to it.