Have you ever found yourself admiring somebody athletic on television? Perhaps it was an Olympic runner, a tennis player or a footballer. As you leaned in to see those last few metres, the final penalty shot or miracle ace, you reminisced on the days you used to train within this particular sport and you felt excitement and happiness ... but did you grab your racket the next day with the intention to test your skills? I'm fairly sure that you didn't. In fact, you probably made yourself some popcorn and sat down to watch the same channel at the same time you did the previous day.
It's astounding how many times we get the chance to interact with people in person and we choose not to. Consider emailing your colleague in the cubicle next to you; chatting to another student in class via your mobile phone or ‘inboxing’ your friend on Facebook instead of walking across street to where he lives to deliver the message face to face. Do you see the irony in the way we operate in this modern fast-paced world? Our everyday lives are consumed with the fake lives of soapie stars and sought after celebrities who are constantly ruining their own. We invest in so many little gadgets that make many things easier for us because we are creatures of comfort and are fed with dreams luxury through the media. However, is it really wise to go about doing things the easy way? I know someone who acknowledges laziness and searches for a "cheat" to everything he finds difficult. The term comes from his frequent gaming; it may be a glitch, a mistake or a purposefully placed advance in a game that players take advantage of to get further, faster. If you imagine a player using such a cheat to skip a few places to get to level two, you may wonder what he missed in level one. He could have skipped right by some health that he needed to survive a fight with a giant pink octopus in level two of the said game. The point is that even though Player One got to his destination faster, he did not gain the extra knowledge or experience and therefore went down faster in level two.
Apply this logic for a moment to your life. Every little device incorporated in your daily life takes you away from the people around you; it makes life easier and yet more difficult because you are not looking after yourself. Convenience entertains laziness, impatience and incompetence. Some people sit in front of their computer for an entire day, socialising and playing online games instead of being active and entertaining a few friends with a football game in their backyard.
Sometimes this ritual of watching television or occupying oneself on the computer affects our relationships with people around us that we love. One can become so detached that there is no need to interact with our family or friends at all, and even though we think that we are passing time with useful things, what have you actually gained in those five hours spent attached to technology? An invite to a costume party that you probably won’t attend; a virtual trophy declaring you champion of a non-existent world ... or perhaps you finally know why Johnny cheated on his wife. Our bodies need activity to last longer, our minds need to be kept buzzing with new ideals and as human beings we need each other. So, take a step back and evaluate how much time you actually spend growing as a person, you might decide to live in the real world and simply invite some people over for dinner – although sometimes things like that don’t work out, people don’t have time, they’ve got kids and other excuses, but if they can’t make it you could always chat to them on Facebook.