Entertained to Death

About two or three years ago there was an information about YouTube that relates to how long it will take to watch all the videos in there but this is how YouTube officially states it “As of March 2015, creators filming in YouTube Spaces have produced over 10,000 videos which have generated over 1 billion views and 70+ million hours of watchtime.” I am still wondering what those figures will be like right now. I have to keep wondering because in recent past months there has been individual videos that has reached 1 billion views which were not captured in that 2015 statistics. In fact an independent researcher estimates that about 300 new videos are being uploaded to YouTube per minute! What about the users? They all together spent 6 billion hours to watch the videos each month of the year 2014! I don’t like numbers but these figures are just too crazy to ignore. Please help me make sense of them. What does it mean to have spent 6 billion hours knowing that majority of the contents are entertainement in nature and the demography of those looking to be entertained will definitely be more than those looking to be trained or educated?

During a period that Yoruba elders will certainly describe as “when the eyes were on the knees”, the Romans entertained themselves with gladiatorial fights and historians have given us a sentence they probably use to commence the fights: “fight to the death”. Nowadays, we need not fight to death, we are being entertained to death.

In the pre-internet era, how do we get entertained? There was charade in the West, and also they play games like chess, dominoes and other games, and in Africa there are games and activities like ayo, story-telling, moonlight plays etc.

People still play their games and get entertained, it is just that they don’t play them on the streets and among family and friends anymore but with strangers all across the world on their computers and mobile phones. Do you love the physical game? There is almost a 100% chance that someone has developed an electronic version of it.

In his book, Outliers, Malcom Gladwell told the story of a research on a community of immigrants in the United States living in a place called Roseto. The researchers were able for the first time to connect health and long life with community. Malcom Gladwell described the shock and the stiff resistance to that fact this way “No one was used to thinking about health in terms of community.”

We now have more communities than our ancestors used to have the question is how effective in health improvement are our modern communities compared to that exemplified in Roseto?

I am not too sure that the internet culture has been much around long enough to yield the kind of information made available by the community culture of Roseto people. If anything, the internet community is erratic, otherwise we should hurriedly compare the two results to know if the benefit of community has been multiplied by belonging to multiple online communities.

I belong to a modest number of communities; about four professional communities on linkedIn, several facebook groups, 99 to be precise and about 30 whatsapp groups (we must be some kind of an alien genius to be able to keep track of all of these).

There is this wonderful whatsapp community, so lively and active that seeing a notification of a participant leaving a message on the group’s page puts my heart in overdrive. I enjoyed every bit of the time I spent in the group. There is too much genius in that single group. I left.

It is interesting how every venture online has been socialized. They call it social-media integration, don’t they? This means that a lot of us can read a newspaper together, that’s awesome. While we are at it, we can easily share with other friends who happened not to be reading together with that community. We tweet some quotable quotes, pin some interesting graphics to a board and while we are still at that we can be at each other’s throat without anyone getting asphyxiated, shout at one another without a sound being heard and shoot any deviant without them bleeding. How magical!

Those people we shot and those we choked, don’t they really die? How sure are we? If they did die we are not likely going to bear their coffin neither are we going to be in their home to share in the muffin anyway.

You remember that wonderful whatsapp group? Yeah, that one with too much genius. We don’t shoot ourselves nor choke ourselves we just debate and enjoy controversies but when I discovered that my blood pressure is rising steadily by just participating, I mean even long after the conversations are over and the battery juice totally drained, I considered going on a sabbatical and I have been on that till date.

Do I enjoy reading the news, especially the op-eds? I love them. You learn a lot from them, they are my entertainement, you could even be high on some writers. You could finish reading most in less than 10 minutes but then they come with that social media integration so I have the privilege of reading the comments and before I knew it, I have spent about 20 minutes extra. At the end, I didn’t write the article I’ve been meaning to write, forgot the call I hope to make and several other things went missing in the mounds of my gyri. It is still not known what idea died because the funeral held in a land far far away.

Someone please help! Since when did the name of Jesus become a cuss or a vulgar word that is now being blurred and slurred on our pay to view TV. Who is paying for that emptiness? We and ourselves. Point of correction, it is not emptiness, it is entertainement.

Who said we are what we eat? That statement is ingenious. So we happened to be gluttonous on that which is hollow and mindless, what does that make us? Hollow and mindless. If what we feed our mind is that which empties us of our humanity or that which intentionally deletes life itself or mildly put, blurrs the very essence of life, what happens to us?

Someone says “what is left after Christ is removed from life is crisis”, can we say that is what happened when a DSTV channel blurrs Jesus from movies’ subtitles?

By | 2017-06-23T14:19:53+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|

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