Endless Pursuit of Distraction

No doubt the economic pressures of the new budget will spark off a fresh round of mental health problems. Job losses like our generation has never seen are about to land very soon; mostly from the public sector and the not-for-profit sector. Even without these extra stress factors people seem to be geared towards depression, the biggest cause of which is boredom.

Boredom? You remember being ten years old, sprawled on your mum’s sofa moaning that there is nothing to do? It seems we all grew bigger and older but never really matured past that stage. The whole of the ‘developed’ world seems to be in the endless pursuit of distraction and instant gratification. Because if it isn’t instant, our short attention spans seem to skitter away. What is the cause of this psychosis? Who do we blame? I suppose the internet is one of the biggest culprits. All that information, both useful and crap, video and social networking, over increasingly higher broadband speeds has made us impatient. We want everything right away. Digital television and TiVo services have spoilt us further with choice, but we’re still constantly complaining that there’s nothing on worth watching, despite the fact that we would have been completely happy to watch most of the available content (yes, even the repeats) when we only had five (or four, if you can remember that far back) channels to choose from. Videogames and downloadable music have also given us that sense of instant access to stimulus.

Because that’s what we do in our relaxation time. We find ways of stimulating our minds with creative content. The problem is most people don’t know what they are looking for, or more accurately, what it is that they need to give them that break from ‘life’ and all the baggage that comes with it. This is because we want to relax and escape, but we want it instantly, fast, faster even. That’s why the book trade is suffering. People don’t think they have time to read a book. Yet reading a book will both relax their bodies and provide their minds with the stimulus that mankind has always yearned for; story.

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