Hooked on TikTok: the curse of curiosity never satisfied | Technology
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After spending a weekend in idyllic scenery at a high-performance think tank, I’ve come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I’m over the top. I realize that I live with the curse of curiosity that is never satisfied and the need to understand what is happening and why. One of the sources of my confusion is the value, positive or negative, that is given to boredom in times of hypervitaminized hyperconnectivity and the impact that chronic boredom has on the laziness that we all carry around. After a lot of reading and, why not say it, some moment of deadly boredom, I have verified that there are several lines of thought. One, to which my education formed in the spirit of the rigors of the 19th century, cold showers and sobriety, belongs, contemplates boredom as that apple that tempts us and drags us to softness, lack of decorum and, finally, physical and moral dirt. You know the saying “when the devil has nothing to do, he kills flies with his tail”. Another one who believes that boredom is necessary to be more creative, less addicted, less docile in short. Luigi Amara, author of the school of boredom, is one of those that prescribes an intensive session of boredom in the face of a modernity that does not shut up, that feeds us with the soma of the screen, inexhaustible work and altered states of consciousness. Amara, after having Montaigne’s moment, which is no longer secluded in a tower to think, but disconnecting from any gadget with a screen and without it, is going to continue getting bored in Las Vegas surrounded by noise and loneliness. As a result of this exercise, Amara proposes The Yawning International, which she keeps reminding me of those floral games that dilettante intellectualoids who can afford to yawn like so much.
I can’t help thinking, however, of boredom as an irregularity, a state that eats away at you. I find it hard to believe that after the tedium, the spleen, either l’ennui find that happy state of doing nothing while enjoying life. Boredom supposes friction with reality, as established by Professor Josefa Ros Velasco, founder of the International Society of Boredom Studies. According to the definition included in one of the papers From that association, boredom is “a functional emotion with attentional components (“can I concentrate?”) and meaning (“do I want to do it?”) […] experienced when people feel unable or unwilling to engage cognitively in their current activity. Like everything in life, it can be a “I’m bored” of our childhood, which is solved by playing, or a “profound boredom” or “complex boredom” that entails individual and social suffering resulting from a particular environment that continues in the future. weather.
This is the boredom that obsesses me and the one that galvanizes us in the face of misfortune, deactivating us as citizens and turning us into individualistic consumers, a little bit junky. The fight against boredom is, therefore, the fight against that unease that a life that does not fit what we expected, what we had been promised, produces in us. Silence and disconnection, being “bored”, confronts us with that imbalance, that black hole that inhabits us and that we need to feed to see if it closes. But no, the hole of our collective anguish is like the cosmics, they are never satisfied, they gobble up all the energy that surrounds them and only return darkness.
The postmodern and technified fight against boredom is nothing more than a symptom of the anguish that our life generates in us, which we feed with hyperactivity in the hope that, once satiated, it will shut up and let us rest in peace for at least a while. moment. But it doesn’t shut up and feeding it is so exhausting that it nullifies us as thinking beings and as active citizens capable of facing the same problems that cause us the anguish that we drug with so much activity. Boredom as maladjustment, as the avoidance of the moment of silence in which we would be forced to face the evils of our time, is both cause and effect. We run away from it to fall into it only a little more tired, less critical and more numb. And with an impeccable social reputation for not stopping doing things, since laziness, as we have been taught, is the origin of all sins.
Thus, Ros Velasco in the disease of boredom hits the nail on the head as to why boredom, as a symptom, should alert us: “Human creativity emanates from its suffering and the worst monsters also result. His experience is pathological to the point of being attributed to the disease. However, boredom is just a symptom. Its mission is to alert us that the relationship with the environment is damaged”.
The soma of the chained videos that TikTok serves us so that we don’t even have to choose what to drug the beast with desensitizes us to the temperature until we notice that we have roasted. We voluntarily chain ourselves to them like oarsmen slaves to the galley that is the new capitalism, that of the sale of future behaviors that Zuboff describes so precisely in his book The era of surveillance capitalism. They want us always bored, always connected, producing data like a hamster on its infinity wheel, giving scroll without stopping until we get the indignation that takes us out of the yawning black hole to throw ourselves back into it.
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