It seems a very long time ago when we actually did stuff instead of watched stuff. Now there are devices all over for us to watch and observe. Many houses have more than one TV, plenty of ‘phones, tablets and computers. We as a species do a lot of watching. Information comes at us, to our homes and we absorb some of it, we enact less. And the habit of “intelligence gathering” is widespread. I have just done it myself, I have booked a holiday and then used Google maps to explore the environs. We like to get loads of information before we do anything. It seems to me that this habit presents something of a problem, because the passive nature of watching is not the same as doing.
Whilst we may engage on social media our behaviours thereupon are different to how we would actually behave face to face. There is a false-courage afforded by distance and the relative “anonymity” of the internet. Whilst we might be all brave on-line, that courage fails in person. We do not actually have much real-life face to face experience. I was on the ‘phone for nearly two hours this morning trying to get human intervention in a problem I was having making a payment. The script driven interaction failed to encompass the actual circumstance, so it was a very frustrating experience, the operatives had to stick to script. I know my postcode and I know when I have entered it accurately into some software. I don’t need to be asked like a moron. OK so I am not overly keen on the “service” provided by this kind of interaction, I am an old git after all. But that is not what I am getting at, rather it is to do with when the script fails. When this happens, we do not know what to do or how to handle the situation, improvisation is frowned upon. As a consequence, our abilities wane. Much of life is very prescriptive, it seems. This is a shame.
For the last sixty years or so, we have increasingly been watching. We watch this, we watch that and then we talk about what we watch. The goings on in soap operas and the actors therein, are news items. This watching has taken over our lives. It eats time.
Do we really want to become an entirely virtual species? Maybe. But the edge which real reality affords is lacking, perhaps we are becoming blunt.
There is less apparent risk in observation, but if we are serious about learning there has to be real-world physical plane interaction for depth to develop. We are getting so very risk averse.
This is a major obstacle to doing anything meaningful at a retreat centre as suggested to me by my dream a while back. How could one persuade people to stop watching and being distracted by watching so that there was a sufficient detox for them to engage? I don’t know the answer…
Can you remember doing?