Monday, August 11, 2008

"Televisual Society - The Colonization Of The Last Resort"

I am shocked. Well - to be fair, you could see it coming, so "shocked" is not exactly the right term for finally recognizing the inevitable.
The inevitable. It came to me just a couple of minutes ago, when I was eating my lunch at the university refectory. There it was. A huge screen. Attached to the front wall. Some swimmer from China was just staring at my salad and coffee with hungry eyes - as if he was just about to do the crawl and grab my food from the table. This is the end, I thought while I was grabbing my fork in order to protect my tomatoes. Not only are we forced to watch and listen to sports on the morning radio, on the underground, at almost every public recreation space of the city - no, as if this is not enough, now they also colonized my very last resort of un-telematic existence now.
The refectory. A place to take a break from work, to relax your eyes from staring onto the screen or into the books, to have a little chat with some random other student sitting at one of the long tables next to you, to enjoy your meal and listen to the comforting background noise from all the other hungry people doing just about the same. Now this peace is over as well. Instead of chatting away the twenty minutes, people watch sports now. Every conversation is interrupted by someone not listening, but staring at the screen attached to the front wall - at best indicating his conversational negligence by mumbling "look at this, man, awesome jump", or something similar, meaningless. Of course, we are all used to going to a pub with friends who stare at their mobile phones instead of into our faces whilst talking to us. I know, they call it "multi-tasking ability" these days, and it is regarded a necessary soft skill to survive within your work life, especially as a humanist. The more pleasant it always used to be to go to the refectory for lunch, where mobile phones were usually forgotten within the locker or even left at home or inside the car because people wanted to concentrate on their thoughts and texts instead of waiting for random short messages containing the recent weather forecast or some phone call saying that the local soccer team won a third league game today. Well, thanks to the IT-service who spent my small tuition fees on just another telescreen, this time is over now as well. I really don't know how I could survive my breaks up to now, without knowing how quickly some random Asian guy ran did the hurdles today. The new screen - such an enrichment to my tiny student life ... .

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