Hey Y'all!

It took me awhile to get here, but alas I'm finally joining the blogosphere of bloviation. It took a rant floating around in my head to send me toward this journey, but so be it. We'll have some fun here too. I promise. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to leave me a comment or two. ~ diane

Friday, July 30, 2010

Amusing Ourselves to Death

There's actually a book by that name, though I admit I've never read it. But the title has stuck with me for years, and from time to time, I find myself lamenting those very words. We are indeed a culture that seems bent on amusing ourselves to death. As technology unveils more and more devices for our entertainment, it seems our appetite for them - and for untold hours of distraction their new and improved capabilities enable us - seems insatiable.

And to think that book came out long before reality TV or iPads.

Don't get me wrong. I love that technology is making the world around us as accessible as the touch of a screen. I love that my friend's son Scott, who's stationed with the Army in Qatar, can Skype 24/7 with his new bride back home in Texas. I love that my daughter could tap into GPS on her iPhone when we got lost on a recent road trip and immediately get us back on the right road. I love the concept of reading any book on the planet by simply downloading it into a Kindle or some other such device. (Though I'm personally a hopeless die-hard for having book-in-hand when I curl up to read at night.) I also love that we can watch new movies OnDemand on our home television or computer screen with the press of a button. Who needs a trip to the video store? And I do love the idea of keeping in touch better with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. How fun to reconnect with folks I haven't seen since we were kids!

But I also miss my life. You know - the one when I had time to call my own.

The one when I wasn't constantly hearing the familiar tone on my cell phone letting me know I'd received a text message. (Something urgent? Usually not.) Or the one without hundreds of emails bombarding my inbox. (And that's a totally spam-free account!) Sometimes I could swear I hear them screaming "READ ME! READ ME!"

When did this happen? Or perhaps the better question is, when did I LET this happen?

And let's be honest. We justify the umblical chord of these gadgets because we "need" to stay in touch. We "need" to know what's going on. Riiiiiight. But the truth is, they're often just glorified electronic games. Do I really need to "retweet" the fact that Susie just found a killer bargain on kumquats at Whole Foods? Will life go on as we know it if I don't read all 125 of my friends' blogs the minute they're posted? Or am I subconciously just "playing the game" of Who's Where, Who's Life is More Interesting & Important, or Who's Got the Most Friends?

I contend it's probably all just masquerading as electronic entertainment. Right up there with the endless garbage that's parading across our flat-
screen, HD TVs day in and day out. Seriously, people, how many bachelor and bachelorette shows do you need to watch before you realize NONE of them stay together? How many talent shows do we really need, especially after a blockbuster season of American Idol when no one can even remember who won last year? And are we really so desperate we turn to shows like WipeOut, which pits contestants against each other in ridiculous obstacles courses (mud tanks anyone?) I mean, do we miss junior high that much? And to think, back in the olden days, we gasped when contestants on Fear Factor were made to eat life cockroaches! Oh, how far we've come.

It does make you wonder. Are we really that bored? Is real life so horrible that we opt to waste hundreds of hours plopped in front of this kind of mindless programming? Then again, what do I know? Once upon a time those living in the Roman empire used to flock to the Coliseum by the thousands to watch lions rip apart Christians. All under the guise of "entertainment."

Might I suggest we learn from their mistakes? As I recall the aforementioned Roman empire fell mightily, never to recover.

Just sayin . . .


  1. AMEN!!! I couldn't agree more. I totally believe Satan is using all this stuff to distract us from what's really important--and especially from what's eternally important! That's the main reason why Jay and I resisted the urge to have internet and e-mail and all those other goodies added to our cell phone account. Give me a phone that's just...a phone.

  2. Imagine that. A phone...that's just a phone! So true, Joan!

  3. I have a love hate relationship with technology!

  4. The two weeks I spent in the hospital and rehab were almost technology free: no computer and bad TV reception. I wasn't all that interested in talking on the phone most of the time. Our culture doesn't know how to "Be still and know that I am God." What a pity. It's our loss.