That uber-blurry picture up there? Snapped by a girl at the airport on her Polaroid Instax as we dealt with a four-hour delay back to Miami.
As I was saying last time – there I am, in the line for The Simpsons ride, or the Return of The Mummy ride, or the Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon ride – and every time, without fail, people around me, behind me, in front of me and, in the case of one of the lines, above and below me, whipped out their smartphones with practiced bravado from their pockets and started the classic life-saving maneuver of living vicariously through others.
I played the role of nosy bystander a few times out of a sheer desire to explore this issue of modern mediocrity, and what I found the first time repeated itself time and time again.
On the screens of nearly allmy test subjects were the same common criminals – Instagram feeds, Facebook feeds, Twitter feeds and, just in case those three weren’t offensive enough, SMS threads and the occassional browse through the Photos app.
I heard once that every time we look at our phones this way – with no specific end in mind – we are trying to live someone else’s much more interesting life, even if only for that single moment of boredom or indecisiveness or stupor.
Browsing through a familiar-looking Facebook feed filled to the brim with pictures of your friends doing something more fun than what you’re doing at the moment – such as taking a sexy picture in their bedroom or dancing with their grandparents or even chilling at home watching Netflix – is a cry for help, and an unfounded one at that.
What is so bad about standing in line for a ride at one of the most heavily visited amusement parks in the world? Is it really so boring that people must resort to these half-baked ways of living someone else’s life?
Or is the content truly that compelling? More on modern mediocrity next time.