How to make culture/life less boring?

Narz

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There's a book I think its called Bowling Alone about how participation in clubs, sports, leagues (like bowling leagues) has been decreasing steadily since the 70s. This book is 20+ years old iirc. In the last two decades people have become more isolated than ever even before coronatimes.

The other day was doing ubereats and saw some punk kids skateboarding around and felt some nostalgia even tho I don't particularly care for skateboarding.

Kids are obsessed w things like kids always are but they don't actually do much, if Calvin (from Calvin and hobbes) were alive today he'd likely be in front of a tablet half the day. I often say, only half jokingly, that my daughter is being raised by youtube comments.

There's some article I'll find later showing the range kids are allowed to explore unsupervised which again has gone steadily down from like 10 square miles to often not even a backyard.

Obvious right at this moment I'm part of the problem, sitting at work dicking around on my phone not interacting with people and not doing physical/embodied things as nature intended (I'm about to go do a workout but even that will be w headphones which is a sad necessity as the music being pumped out is, on average, lousy).

The problem feeds on itself as the more mofos on their phones wherever u go and the less organized (or disorganized) activities going on in neighborhoods the less incentive to not retreat into a digital comfort zone.
 

Gorbles

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My kids get out at least once a day, if not more, when they're not at school or whatever. I think this is a perceived issue that correlates with personal experience more than it does any greater trend. It's a generational thing (again), much like our parents assumed about us, and so on. Technology always moves with the times, so if it's not YouTube comments, it's AOL or MySpace, and before that it was crowding round an analog TV, and before that the radio, and before that books, etc. It's cyclic. There's always something the older generation(s) are worrying about r.e. the younger generation(s)' hobbies and it's very loosely quantified with any kind of real data. It's all "feelings".

Humans have been fighting what nature intended for millennia. It's not anything new.
 

EgonSpengler

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It is a tough nut to crack. As life progresses, I think it's naturally tougher to maintain even close friendships. The groups of casual friends I/we had when we were young all but vanish. As people start "grownup" jobs and have children, there's still only 24 hours in a day.

For myself, I've definitely noticed that the expansion of my computer's capabilities has taken over a lot of the things that I used to do with other people. For example, I played tabletop games a lot from childhood until my early-20s, but I don't think I've played an in-person game with other people in at least 15 years. Even when I was a teenager, with a group of pals who also liked to play games and who had lots of free time, getting everyone together even once a week was a chore. Today, I just flip on my computer and I can play whatever I want, whenever I want. The proliferation of tv series has meant that everybody watches different things. Years ago, I knew groups of people who'd get together to watch Star Trek, or Buffy. Now, not only do I watch everything alone, I don't even know many people who are watching the same shows I watch. "Water-cooler talk" is gone. Same with music. Finding and acquiring new music used to mean taking a trip around the city to visit a half-dozen shops, and it was something I would often do with friends. Today, finding new music involved reaching into my pocket and putting my headphones on, and when I do find something cool, I'm unlikely to know even 1 person who's even heard of the artist.
 

Samson

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There seem to be a number of somewhat unrelated issues here:

Life boring because of internet

I do not see it. The internet is great, I can chat with intelegent people about the big issues of the day endlessly. I cannot get that level of interaction IRL.

There are not enough RL activities to get involved in

Again I do not see it. The internet means I really can find a club doing what I want to do, and if there are enough people in the area I may meet them face to face. There are lots of these going on if you look hard enough.

Most parents are overprotective

This I agree with, but it is up to them how they raise their kids.

Parents who want to let their kids out cannot

That article seems really badly argued. It starts by saying we cannot raise kids "free range", but then goes on to give as a reason "Who would my children play with unless I organized a play date?", and possibly "At the local shops, parents flash each other nasty and judgmental looks all the time for the slightest and most routine annoyances of children's behavior". Those are not reasons that should restrict your ability to let kids play.

There are good reasons why it is harder to play outside now, and I think the only one that matters is the dominance of the motor car. When I was I kid the road outside was our playground that we let cars drive on if they were nice. Now it seems assumed that it is the cars road and kids should not be on it. This should be handled by road laws.

[EDIT] Actually reading the linked story does show that Maryland is trying to criminalise letting kids play outside. That is messed up. Is this another mad republican thing that a loud minority want? Why is this happening?

In the Meitivs' case, this means they allow their two children, Rafi and Dvora, ages 10 and 6, to play outside and walk home by themselves.

Last December, police in Silver Spring, Maryland, picked up Meitiv's two children — Rafi, 10, and Dvora, 6 — as they were walking home alone from a park a mile away from the Meitiv house. On Feb. 20, Montgomery County Child Protective Service informed the Meitivs that they had been found responsible for "unsubstantiated" child neglect.

Maryland Child Protective Services then accused the Meitivs of neglect, saying unless they committed to a safety plan, the kids would have to go into foster homes. In Silver Spring, leaving anyone under age 18 unsupervised constitutes neglect.​
 
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Farm Boy

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Mine gets a block he's allowed to wander. He introduced me to some of the neighbors.

Then again, the authorities of children don't think much of me, so yeah.
 

Narz

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and before that it was crowding round an analog TV, and before that the radio,
The qualitatively different. Notice even your wording, "crowding round". It was a communal experience whereas now everyone is in their own little virtual worlds.

And no it's definitely not only my subjective experience. Anxiety especially in kids is skyrocketing.
 

EgonSpengler

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I do think the thread title - as opposed to the OP - is off the mark. Life is hardly more boring than it used to be. Quite the opposite. I'm buried under an avalanche of things to do, see, read, watch and listen to, 24-7-365. I am frequently paralyzed by indecision because the choices available to me are too much to process.
 

Narz

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I can chat with intelegent people about the big issues of the day endlessly. I cannot get that level of interaction IRL.
Yeah that's the problem. Most of the time I'd rather be online chatting w strangers or watching content than interacting w my family or friends. And once kids get old enough they feel the same way (my daughter tries to get me into the stuff she's into but I generally can't vibe w it).

Meanwhile the amount of friends people have to go out with, help them move a couch, watch the kid for two hours, etc continues to decline.

Life is not all about mental stimulation.

Or maybe to the self selected group here (introvert, gaming 'fanatics' it is).

I dunno, if at the end of my life I can say "well I read alot of interesting stuff on the internet" and "I met alot of people I never met" I'd be pretty damn unhappy :(
 

Narz

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I do think the thread title - as opposed to the OP - is off the mark. Life is hardly more boring than it used to be. Quite the opposite. I'm buried under an avalanche of things to do, see, read, watch and listen to, 24-7-365. I am frequently paralyzed by indecision because the choices available to me are too much to process.
I don't see the dichotomy.

Kind of like Times Square in Manhattan there are many flashing lights and stmulation but it's designed to overwhelm and make you waste time and money not foster actual community (I'd say Times Square is quite impoverished culturally)
 

EgonSpengler

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I don't see the dichotomy.

Kind of like Times Square in Manhattan there are many flashing lights and stmulation but it's designed to overwhelm and make you waste time and money not foster actual community (I'd say Times Square is quite impoverished culturally)
Well, I'm not talking about sensory overload, although that's certainly also a thing, with all of our devices. I'm talking about the proliferation and availability of things that used to be fewer and required more effort, or even special privilege, to access. But I'm making much the same point about how all of this stuff works against fostering community. I don't need other people to facilitate my access to anything anymore. I have no "activity partners" because none of my activities require partners. I'm not even sure how many of my activities would even benefit from partners. Having to coordinate with other people might just slow me down and complicate things.
 

Samson

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EgonSpengler

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There are some activities that are improved with a partner...
Yeah, it's been forever since I've tried to drive while blind-folded. Boy, those were the days...
 

Narz

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Well, I'm not talking about sensory overload, although that's certainly also a thing, with all of our devices. I'm talking about the proliferation and availability of things that used to be fewer and required more effort, or even special privilege, to access. But I'm making much the same point about how all of this stuff works against fostering community. I don't need other people to facilitate my access to anything anymore. I have no "activity partners" because none of my activities require partners. I'm not even sure how many of my activities would even benefit from partners. Having to coordinate with other people might just slow me down and complicate things.
Yeah there's a card game called Dominon I play online and it's so much faster without all the shuffling (I'd say at least 5x faster), not to mention 1000s of players worldwide ready on demand.

But I'd probably benefit more going to local board game night even if it meant playing games I enjoyed less in a slower fashion and not having zero eyes upon me as I played while eating and browsing news, youtube and forums in the background.

Being around other awkward humans is kind of a drag but avoiding it just makes it worse.
 

Samson

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Yeah there's a card game called Dominon I play online and it's so much faster without all the shuffling (I'd say at least 5x faster), not to mention 1000s of players worldwide ready on demand.

But I'd probably benefit more going to local board game night even if it meant playing games I enjoyed less in a slower fashion and not having zero eyes upon me as I played while eating and browsing news, youtube and forums in the background.

Being around other awkward humans is kind of a drag but avoiding it just makes it worse.
Do you actually think there are fewer local board game clubs? I did not know such things existed in the before internet age, and I now know they do. Whether that says more about me or the world I do not know.
 

Gorbles

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The qualitatively different. Notice even your wording, "crowding round". It was a communal experience whereas now everyone is in their own little virtual worlds.
Qualitative in this case is subjective. Unless you want to argue that real relationships cannot be formed virtually without an in-person requirement, which I don't think is going to hold up to general evidence across the Internet.
And no it's definitely not only my subjective experience. Anxiety especially in kids is skyrocketing.
Correlation isn't causation. There are many valid reasons why anxiety may be increasing in children, not least the very obvious reason of better diagnoses and understanding of the field leading to more being reported generally. It happens a lot in medicine, something that wasn't tracked (or diagnosed) as effectively previously, once improvements have been made to processes, can make it seem like it's come out of nowhere.
 

Fippy

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. I'm talking about the proliferation and availability of things that used to be fewer and required more effort, or even special privilege, to access. But I'm making much the same point about how all of this stuff works against fostering community. I don't need other people to facilitate my access to anything anymore. I have no "activity partners" because none of my activities require partners. I'm not even sure how many of my activities would even benefit from partners.
Your first point i fully agree with, it's nice to have access.
But why can most activities not benefit from others? If i have to choose between watching movies alone or with my best friend..it's not even close.
I realize this requires having such a friend, but just in general i'd always keep my eyes open for such opportunities.
 
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