Here’s proof that social media will most likely reduce our brains to mashed vegetables before the year 2030.
Remember, back then, when you had nothing to do, and sleep wouldn’t agree with itself to be arrested, making all that was left to do be to search for a healthy challenge?
Like, find some game you could play solo, rehearse a song on the recorder, or gently abduct a game partner, whether willing or unwilling. (Higher rates of success if you’re an elder sibling or a persuasive person, or you have a squeaky chipmunk voice and no one wished to hear you whimper and whine).
Now assuming, in hindsight, the rare situation in which all playable games had been exhausted, or available players out of the mood to be engaged with. And/or available game options met all potential partners deflect into something else. These would make all that was left to do be to settle for the television.
This used to be the final, if not only resolve back in the late 90s and early 2000s. When outdoor/ indoor games and activities fail, cable TV would have your back.
However, the chances may be that all good TV programs, shows, or cartoons could be out of screen time at that moment. Translation: nothing interesting to watch. Building up the lack of engagement factor to an unsettling factor.
There you were, out of game partners or out of games, and having the house ceiling your limit. With the TV being your target, and almost only source of hope if you had to end the day without the intense feeling of heartburn, and being torn apart disappointed by everything a child shouldn’t have to, you struggled with this last lifeline.
You would flip the TV remote through the endless stations of bore, to settle on the least torturous station. Though torturous, it was still a TV station in which a program was being shown.
Although it was your least favorite TV station, or worse, a code red no-go station. One that, perhaps, could as well have come with an instruction from a pre-bored you, days or weeks earlier, to never ever flip to the station. In no circumstance, the note might have read.
Yet, you stopped flipping through the horrid stations, and you settled for that torturous one. Because desperate times called for desperate measures. Because, as is well known among children and pre-adults, leisure times were for playing games or watching TV, and nothing else.
Of-course the least torturous station would have their programs viewed by some who dubbed the channel as favourite.
Boredom had caused you to settle for the channel, and through the momentary viewing experience, you absorbed a lesson or two. Everyone did. Which you couldn’t have learnt from gaming, or parents, or friends, or schools.
It’s like watching documentaries or the news. Some kids least favorite channel, and others, favorites. Yet, to all, you’d most likely learn a thing or two when you give moments on it.
You may never need to immediately share the informative pieces you acquired with those around you, but you definitely would have learned something new. It’s some piece of information that’ll simply sharpen your discernment of the environment around you.
And surely, these were precisely the kind of TV channels the majority avoid. Till now, they are not considered interesting enough in modern cultural trends.
Today, you purposefully have to stay glued to a channel. It can never be an accidental mission. You probably have to plan, mentally and physically, for the time you’d spend on a TV channel. It’s usually called the phone fast, or social media fast.
Any lessons, or titbits that could have been learned from something you wouldn’t naturally have sought out for yourself, like back then with the forced least favorite channel, is almost forever lost.
There’s just so much of social media channels that it requires more deliberate actions and deliberate learnings.
Leisure moments are not for games anymore. They’re not for abducting partners for a one-on-one, rehearsing the piano, or running outdoors.
They’re for catching up with social media.