We sit on the couch and watch for hours but are we entertained or merely pacified?
Almost all of us have some form of media in front of our eyes during non-working hours. Many of us find ways to use or view online media in our work as well. Some call our entire society addicted to the images and the sound that now stream for us endlessly, 24/7. There is never a point at which something is not available.
But after a long day at work, when we shed our clothes and drop onto the couch, turning on the television or scrolling on our phones, are we truly entertained? Are we finding joy in what we see and hear, or is what we consume merely a pacifier, something to keep our brains mindlessly engaged in something of no real substance until we finally drift off to sleep?
Sure, we need a break from the stress of work, but does the thing we call entertainment do its job? Are we truly entertained? The internet goes out and the streaming stops. A glitch in the phone’s software and an app suddenly closes. You can’t find the content you were watching. More stress. More negative emotion. Are we benefiting?
The images take us through that series of attempting to relax, unsatisfied with the content, changing channels, excited for a moment, then frustrated at an interruption. Finally, we turn the whole mess off, and perhaps is the best thing we do all evening.