As a millenial, we are constantly engaged in social media, games and video contents through our smartphones, laptops and other ravishing gadgets. These three online platforms are the culprit to what I call “over entertainment” which we, as millenials, should be aware in our everyday living. Bombarded every second by these online contents, the conclusion we face everyday correlates to us having a decrease in productivity, in work, and in life as general.

Over entertainment, as I call it (since Wikipedia and Dictionary.com doesn’t know it), is a form of activity done in excessive amounts, to grab attention and interest of an audience just to gain temporary delight or to fritter away time. It results to a vicious cycle of harmful habit that it eventually overwrites your system resulting to you absentmindedly pressing the Facebook button without realizing why you did it or what’s your purpose of doing it. By killing idle time, it then replaces your personal time and decreases your chances of productive output to a hobby you love to try or a friend you miss talking to.

Way back our time, entertainment was never reduced to the size of your palm nor on the screens the size of A4. It was expressed as court entertainment to impress the royal blood and public punishments to humiliate the low life commoners. It has then evolved to different forms of art including storytelling, theatre, films, dance, circus, magic, parades, festivals, sports, fairs, fireworks and so much more. These activities often induce our senses to feel the emotions in the spur of the moment and to crave for it after hence drawing our minds to build imperfect imaginations.

Today, millenials are more interested in taking video of fireworks rather than to actually enjoy the colorful bursts of those sparkling firecrackers. They are often staying home playing their video games rather than go out with their friends on weekends. They are busy looking at their news feed with articles they don’t care about in a dinner with family rather than talk about their day with them.

So what’s my point?

We are missing out – a lot – in life. We are looking for motivations on social media to pursue our dream than actually believing in it. We are playing an adventure of a man killing villains and saving townspeople than actually living it. We are watching the story of a hero who saved thousands of people than actually doing it.

I measure the productive output of a person by the series of steps he/she made to go after his/her current dream. If it is his dream to be rich, he should have been busy drafting business proposals, pitching to angel investors or researching his way to success. If it is her dream to be a wife, she should have learned how to cook meals, wash clothes or change the diapers of her little brother.

What are the things that effectively lessen our productivity anyway?

  • Social Media

Most social media platform’s goal, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc… is to ensure that people are connected in a way that they get updates of their friends or share their personal experiences. However, it does more than that. Due to people’s obsessive craving to gain information, many are tricked into falling that pressing Like button means that he/she cares about you or pressing Share button means to read this article for awareness.

Also, looking at your friend’s timelines may produce a feeling of enviousness or jealousy (especially where photos illustrate a similar definition of our success). Eventually, our self-esteem tends to decline so much that it affects the way we believe in ourselves thus decreasing our productive output to seek our desired dreams.

Social media also generates a fair amount of addiction as much as being addicted to drugs although still having control or the ability to inhibit this behavior. This addiction tends to grow in your daily habit such that you’ll just click the Facebook app, browse on the news feed and say “I can’t help it” reasoning.

  • Digital Games

Millenials are receptive to games but often are very elusive and would play a game based on the word of mouth or if they have higher review stars on an elite gaming website. It ranges from the boring mobile games to the thrilling graphical games in top consoles such as XBox or Playstations.

Although games are made to satisfy our thirst for fictitious adventures and things we cannot do (or hope to exist) in real life, it impairs our imaginative side on our right brain in the long run. With increasing graphical content, many gamers visualize the world as fed by the video game itself rather than being immersed with a life filled with adventures and travels.

Same with social media, games also generate a strong sense of addiction such that we get hooked with simple games such as Clash of Clans for its competitive gameplay or Grand Theft Auto for its Mafia inspired gameplay. However, it gets worse because it promotes a feeling of false accomplishments such that we are rewarded with the things we achieve on the game rather not being rewarded (or seldom at all) in real life. These also lessens our productive output to begin the first step in fulfilling your dreams.

  • Video Content 

Initially with TVs and now with apps such as YouTube or Vimeo, video content allows us to watch anything we want for the purpose of gaining knowledge or getting acquainted with current events. Though these are mostly beneficial and not as harmful as we might think compared to social media or games, video content naturally arouses the hidden critics within us such that we can express what we feel by disliking a part of the speech the president made or suggesting questions to the interviewer we feel he missed out.

A major factor driving Internet-video consumption among millenials is that ‘it makes them feel better about who they are’. This emotion pervades our brain to watch more videos of celebrity YouTube stars such as Smosh or Wong Fu Productions, such that it again forms the habit of addiction thus contributing to our decrease of productive output to do more work on fulfilling our dreams.

As millenials, we are on the brink of drowning in being over entertained that we forget what we should be doing in order to seek our purpose of being human. If you feel you are being overentertained, you can always gradually withdraw from these things by deactivating social accounts you don’t have business to be with, uninstalling games you are so frustrated to beat and keeping away from streaming sites that you are always binge-watching on. Cheers!

 

References:

  • Woolsey, Barbara. “Facebook is Getting in the Way of Your Happiness” Thrillist (link)
  • Simpson, Perry. “3 Truths About Millenials and Gaming” DMNEws, 13 July 2015 (link)
  • Spanglet, Todd. “Millennials Find YouTube Content More Entertaining, Relatable Than TV: Study” Variety, 01 Dec 2014 (link)
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