Doing it Doggy Style So You Can Both Watch X-Files

We American’s have minds which are being taken over.  But not by something cool like MDMA or amateur porn, but by a shrinking attention span.

Not since the invention of reverse-cowgirl has mankind been given a gift like the internet.  It has bestowed unimaginable access to knowledge upon us, paved the way for innovation, directly led to the overthrowing of dictatorships, and allowed us to witness Asian chicks throwing up in each others mouths. But just like how after every good cow-girl ride she’s going to expect you to get on top, the internet too isn’t without a catch.

For most people in our generation the internet’s core function is to provide directly or be a conduit for entertainment.  But therein lies the problem.

It is too fucking amazing at its job.

Having the mecca of entertainment at our disposal everywhere we go via laptops, cell phones, and tablets, is making it harder and harder for our minds to be occupied solely with what is in front of us, including internet content itself.  When was the last time you browsed with only one tab open? The year of the rat?** Unless you’re watching a video of an A-list celebrity juggling knives while taking it from behind all while weeping uncontrollably, you’re probably just contemplating what video to watch next.

The problem is the more videos you watch, or number of times you click Stumble, the less entertaining each becomes and the more stumbling or web-surfing must be done to get the same satisfaction.  It’s the universal law of diminishing marginal utility, and similar in theory to a crack addict having to smoke more and more to get the same high he got the first time.  After hours of browsing you eventually just close your laptop unfulfilled and start to clean up the mound of tissues around you.

In the end we’re all fiends chasing what every drug addict is after, pleasure.  The joy our ancestors took in a good crop harvest or oppressing women and minorities, we get from watching a fat chick falling down on youtube.  In both cases our brain awards us with pleasure, but very different types.

The pleasure produced by checking out a funny GIF or MEME is easy to get but is fleeting and disappears like a fart in the wind.  The cognitive reward from you yourself finding a funny picture, thinking up a clever caption, then putting it on a website for everyone to enjoy is far greater and lasts a great deal longer.

Photoshopping this picture probably wasn’t a great time for my friend 5nack, but the finished product led to countless laughs for his friends and no doubt some self-satisfaction.

The main question is if those who actually created the content that we ogle over had, in a moment without stimulus, urgently taken out their cell phone for entertainment instead of reflecting, or thinking critically long enough to create it, would we be without a lot of songs, games, and video’s that we covet?

All that being said most of the web browsing I do, and feel many others do too, falls under the category of instant gratification without any productivity.  But a recent study from Stanford pointed out that Facebook and sites like it actually make us all feel worse about ourselves in comparison to our mood when we started browsing.

So when do we check Facebook or surf the web?  It’s a guilty distraction from a paper, a digital companion when our “people friends” are out enjoying themselves, or a way to stock girls there’s no way we’re getting with.  It’s an activity for our low-point in the day.

Never when drinking at a bar with friends do I wonder if anyone has written on my wall as of late, or whether @thesulk has tweeted something hilarious in the past hour.  Obviously our days are going to have lulls which our favorite web sites are ripe to fill, but when real life interaction takes a back-seat to digital ones it becomes problematic.

Obviously social media and web browsing are fucking awesome in many ways and should taken part in by all freedom loving Americans.  But checking for pictures of a fun day or messaging a friend is a slippery slope into staring at the same profiles over and over, or clicking stumble like it was sending hundred dollar bills to your bank account.

Sit on it.

**(shamelessly plagiarized Rush Hour 2 joke)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s