Life Wasted in Virtual Reality

Teenage Wasteland – The Who

The “average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook”

That’s more than 334 hours on a year, which is 14 days of life per person spent on Facebook each year. 2 weeks of life on Facebook a year. That is a lot of time.

I understand some of this time is spent at work or in class but still, people waste a lot of their free time on Facebook.

Let’s figure out how we are spending so much time with virtual friends.

First off, I often open up Mozilla and sign into Facebook without realizing it. Within a blink I’m logged into the same calming blue all social networking sites have. I wonder, “how the hell did I just login without clicking? Oh, it’s subconscious now, sweet.”

Once I login I see all the pointless stuff my friends have on their minds. “Cold Oatmeal sucks ASS!” says Fred. I think, “wow, really should delete Fred for the stupid comment, but for some reason I like reading random stuff like this.”

Then there are those days where we wasted way too much time on Facebook. We had a little free time during the day, so we decided to just check the Facebook real fast with no intention to stay on for more than a minute. Thirty minutes later, we wake up from our vegged out “surfing profiles” state of mind and realize we just spent half an hour looking at Betty’s entire “Karaoke Keggar!” album. It’s especially embarrassing since every picture has the girls posed with the same fake album smile, and you don’t even know any of the people.

There’s a term for wasting time on social networking sites: Social Masturbation (I’ve also heard Faceturbation from my friend Graeme, which is good too). Social networking sites help us fill a need to be social, when really it’s all just virtual. Our minds are tricked into thinking we have the company of people when really it’s just a screen and pixels. Profiles and pictures stimulate our social senses without actually having to hang out with friends.

I’ll be the first to admit to a bad social masturbating habit, but I’m working to change that. If you see me signed on tell me to sign the fuck off and chill with people in real life. Nothing’s better than actually getting together with friends and just kicking it. In real life, there’s no need for wall posts and comments. In real life, there’s no need to judge someone on the wittiness or their profile.

What’s tricky though is that it’s not always easy to hang out sometimes. Maybe we all login to social networking sites because we’re too lazy to figure out what everyone’s up to. We could text some friends and make a few calls, but sometimes we’re just too lazy to make the effort. It’s a waste of time when we text a few friends and none of them can chill. We put out the effort, but sometimes it’s just too inefficient. This is when we sign on and veg out to a session of social masturbation.

Enter Weutt. Coming soon.

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Cafe bans laptops hoping people will talk.

The Way of the Dodo- The Streets

Oakland Cafe Owner bans laptops in hopes people will socialize.

SF Gate link

This is sad. Cafes and Coffee shops were created as a place to interact and talk to people. They were places to enjoy a drink and conversation. Wake up people, unless you want to be a stupid drone that has no real-life awareness.

In the year 2010, a cafe must ban the use of laptops in the hopes of bringing back real. If you think about how coffee shops and cafes are used now, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

I’m going to dissect coffee shops and the psychology behind them.

Today, people will often go to a coffee shop to study or get work done. They’ll bring their books, papers, or laptops and chill for awhile. Coffee shops are not normally the quietest places. The latte machines are churning; people are constantly entering and leaving. They are often cramped. They simply aren’t great places to get work done, so why do people work at these types of establishments?

A few of those people may have dumbass roommates, annoying roommates that have no respect. I understand that, but most roommates are respectful enough to be quieter than a coffee shop. You can go to a library if you really want a good place to work.

Maybe it’s because the drinks are really good. Coffee shops normally brew better coffee than people can at home. It makes sense to buy coffee (some would argue), but wouldn’t you rather bring it to your library or home if you want to get work done? Some people do this, but the rest decide to set up camp at a table and sprawl out their work.

So what’s the real reason people work at coffee shops for? For the same reason people have always been going to coffee shops, to be around other people. What’s screwed up now is that people don’t give a shit about interacting. People will often sit next to each other, and never acknowledge each other.

Humans have an innate need to be around other people. We are social creatures that enjoy being around other humans. We need company. Company is so important to us that it comforts us just to be in a room with other people, even if there is no interaction whatsoever. This is what coffee shops are turning into. Places of social comfort that have no social interaction. Ridiculous.

Maybe you’re someone that believes coffee shops have a great “atmosphere” to get work done in. Bullshit. First off, most coffee shops have the same neutral, natural looking tones as the next one down the block. Saying a coffee shop has “atmosphere” is just an excuse to be at a place where you have the company of others.

This article made me think what our future as a society holds for us. If we continue to sink deeper into the clutter of technology, what real experience will be left? Our generation is beginning to make people think and act like the very technology we use.

It’s year 2010. Imagine what coffee shops and cafes will look like in 2020 or 2030. If we don’t acknowledge the importance of real interaction today, then you can kill me now because I’m not down with becoming a drone. I know it’s weird, but I enjoy interacting with people in real life.