“Oh, alright, I’ll watch one more episode and then I’ll go to bed,” says the average teen at 1:00 a.m. on a school night; he has binge-watched an entire season of “The Office” ever since he got home. “I’ll start my homework right after this round,” says the guy who has to read ten chapters of a book by the next day, but instead chooses to play the new “Call of Duty.”
This generation has become addicted to all sources of entertainment. Whether that be television, video games, or social media, the behemoth of the entertainment industry is causing many people to become less productive, less social, and less like real people.
Today, there are thousands of television shows to watch and hundreds of channels and sources to watch them on. Reports from New York Daily News state that the average American watches five hours of television per day and once they pass the age of 65, they watch over seven hours per day. Each age group had a specific average amount of time watching television, ranging from 20 to 50 hours per week.
This just comes to show how horribly addicted one can become to everything TV has to offer. When someone becomes addicted, they might give up things like a small hobby or even ditch their friends just to see that new episode. These things can change your life down the road, usually not in a positive way.
TV is not the only culprit here. From personal experience, video games are far worse than TV will ever be. Video games give the player more freedom than TV can, because there are thousands of different games with tons of different genres and experiences. This means that video gamers can make their own story and do their own thing.
This may sound like a good thing, but it’s actually the opposite. Creating this kind of outlet for people can just suck them into the gaming world. Although they can talk to their friends over online chat while they play together, it separates us from actual human contact. My friends and I love to play games together, and we try our best to get out into the real world. But the games calling us back is inevitable.
TV and video games may be able to separate us from people temporarily, and can actually spark some conversation at times. However, social media has the potential to destroy real life human interaction. Even if it is called “social,” it is really anything but.
This dilemma is perfectly described in the YouTube video “Look Up” by Gary Turk. In this video, he recites a poem to describe this generation’s problem with being glued to electronics. One of my favorite quotes from this video is “So look up from your phone, shut down those displays, we have a finite existence, a set number of days. Why waste all our time getting caught in the net, as when the end comes, nothing’s worse than regret.”
Not only this, but it is evident that most people these days are on some sort of social media. According to The Telegraph, the average person has five social media accounts and spends about one hour and 40 minutes on social media per day. Not only this, but about 82 percent of the world’s population has a Facebook account. To me, this is an inconceivable amount of people on social media.
With all of these outlets for entertainment, who knows what will happen to society in the future. This generation may become a generation of idiots, or we could realize our mistakes and change society for good. But it can only start with you. As Gary Turk’s poem said, “Go out into the world, leave distractions behind. Look up from your phone, shut down that display, stop watching this video, live life the real way.”