Thursday, February 26, 2015

living vicariously

I am going to say that living vicariously through someone else or a fictional character deepens the divide between the have and the have nots.

Living vicariously through others.

If we choose to experience our pleasure or entertainment through watching someone else in a role, in a game, a race, etc, etc we can cheer them on and celebrate with them when good things happen. It's a very exciting premise to be a part of their good times, advertures and drama.

However, when that character is killed off, that player starts to lose their age, driver no longer wins or any other number of problems with continuing success we do not have to be part of their downfall or failure. We can detach ourselves from this "person" that we have aligned ourselves with and move onto another.

On the flip side, if we take on an endeavour ourselves, building up to that positive result is hard work, scary and challenging to us. Worse yet, if it doesn't go well we feel the pain and discomfort of it not going well.  

Whether it's a quest for knowledge, learning new skills, building, competing, playing, walking, etc, etc there are a million different activities that a person can participate in and they can all go well, or go badly.

When success is achieved it's much more powerful for us than being a viewer into that success and if failure does occur, while painful, we get the full learning experience from that failure.

Sadly, I think the situation gets worse with time.

The longer we go on living through fictional characters, celebrities, sports figures and the like, the more likely we are to lose our physical and mental edge that would help us maintain confidence in the face of challenge when taking on experiences ourselves.  Our comfort zone reduces and things that should not freighten us do resulting in an experience tainted with negativety because our expectations for the experience were not based on reality, but rather someone's reality.

By living vicariously through others too much, we become less of a participant and more of a viewer until the day we die when we can only say that our life was spent in employment to pay for the privledge of watching others participate in life.

I would continue to say that while much of our society would argue that financial wealth is the greatest achievement to strive for I think the "have nots" are actually missing out more on life experiences than on wealth.   It has become a social norm to entertain oneself primarily through viewing others engaged in something. Whether it's real people or characters in a show, movie or video game it's extremely common to have this lifestyle of viewing as where the most time is spent.

I don't understand.

I quest for knowledge, experiment, experience and expression so much so that I really don't know what is going on in pop culture. I don't know what's "good" on TV these days or which movies are doing well at the box office and I don't bing watch on Netflix. The result is I am unable to participate in conversations around the "water cooler" but that doesn't make me sad.

What makes me sad is that it seems to be harder to find people who can talk about science, making, building, the arts, society, history, etc, etc.

What kind of world will my children find themselves participating in as adults? Will anyone talk about real life or will that be saved for a small portion of society running the system that we are contained within?

Thanks for reading. 

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  1. bad idea.
    we need people at the bottom of the pyramid of life experience.
    those people sit at home and make me money watching my youtube channels.
    get them out there doing stuff and they stop being a consumer and then I can't do the cool experiences in my rightful place on the pyramid.

    I read your stuff (except for the religious stuff) and sorry but this one is just off base.

    Don't waste your time anyway, those people don't come here anyway, your writing is too serious for them.

    hopefully you approve this version of my comment. obviously my previous post had too many insults of the people on the bottom. this anonymous commenting is great.

  2. Glad to see you feel comfortable to post when you don't have anything at stake.
    Anyhow, yes I deleted the other comments, insults are unnecessary.

    I don't agree that people need to be on the bottom for our system to work, I think their money would flow in other ways in the economy if they chose to get out and experience the world. I don't think consumerism is the right model.

  3. I like the level of access I get to cool life experiences because so many people stay home and watch TV/Movies instead. If all of those people did what I did I would always be waiting in line. I would rather not that the Walmart experience didn't spread to the good things in life.

  4. Your little article sure stirred up a hornets nest in our chat room tonight. I think I know who your first anonymous commenter is that posted the article but I won't name names so he doesn't name mine. lol

    I don't know who you think you are writing this stuff but it's just your opinion. The world isn't a safe place these days with a lot of creeps out to make a dishonest buck so its not really that easy to get our and experience the world like you say. We took our kids to Disneyland last year and discovered we wish we had just stayed home and watched a youtuber's video of the same experience and it would have saved us the hassle. It was expensive and I think Disney does a better job with movies and should stick to that instead of ripping people off.

  5. I don't think I have ever had this many comments in one night, wait, maybe ever.
    Glad your chat room enjoyed the discussion.

    It is just my opinion and it's based on my fears for people in my own space that I think deserve to experience more in life. Unfortunately I fear that they are ill prepared to deal with anything but good things, stress too much about unknowns and live in a state of anxiety that manifests itself in decision making that further sours their attempts to get out and live. I think part of the answer is to stop living through others and do more and more of your own thing.

    My intentions are absolutely selfish, I want people to know more than what they see on a screen, and even well beyond Disneyland (which is a different discussion all together), so I can have a conversation with them.

    Thanks for the comments.