Entertainment: The scam that keeps taking

It is really interesting how much we as a society feel entitled to constant entertainment. Often, we live our lives in a back-and-forth between two states. The first state is "doing what we have to do", which includes working our job, acquiring our groceries, the most essential of chores at home and other such things that we deem necessary for our survival and for paying our bills. Then, there is the second state - entertainment. This is the mode we often default to whenever we completed enough of our chores and duties to feel comfortable enough to do so. In this mode, we become apathic and start bombarding our senses with impulses, be it from binge watching Netflix, playing videogames or watching TV.

I am aware that my choice of words for the last paragraph was very black-and-white and that this, I'm glad to say, doesn't universally describe how people go through their day. But, despite that, how far away was my description really from the reality of your life? Letting oneself go and drowning our meaningful thoughts in long bingewatching sessions seems more normal nowadays than perhaps ever before. I once heard someone describe a kind of people as such whose default idle animation is being on their phone. This example really stuck with me. Imagine a videogame character walking through an open world full of possibilities and objectives. Whenever this character stops, he immediately dips his hand in one of his pockets, takes out his phone, arches his neck and starts touching away at it and scrolling through social media feeds or playing games. What a ridiculous idea to waste a huge part of our potential by forgetting about time and just being so apathic and idle towards everything outside this tiny screen.

Let's ask ourselves how much time of our lives has gone to waste by behaviour comparable to that. I myself am quite a visual example of this. A quick look into my steam library reveals two games with a playtime of over 1500 hours each, with a third and fourth place at over 400 hours each. This is followed by another handful of games with playtimes ranging from over 50 to roughly 250 hours. And even that is still not all. Let's say we look at 4000 hours of platime. Imagine how beneficial it would have been to put even an eight of that, which is a pretty possible number, into productive things like reading, learning new skills or building meaningful real-life relationships. In fact, I feel like not giving time to those things lowers our ability to enjoy them further and further. How difficuilt is it for you to read even five pages of a beneficial book, assuming even a rather big print?

The best time to break out of constant mindless seeking for entertainment is now. If this is your problem, let the numbness you feel when still playing videogames for 4+ hours a day as an adult be a motivator. Don't forget that wasting half a day every day adds up to wasting half a year every year.

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