How to make culture/life less boring?

Terxpahseyton

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I think what it comes down to: To serve something artificial and dead will always be boring, though perhaps very rush-inducing on the short run, like a drug. Not unlike teenagers getting addicted to likes on Instagram. Be that money, status, your constructed identity... But all meaning ultimately springs forth from the heart, from love. From the divine. And if we all lived that... well the world would be a different one.
 

Narz

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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.
In the 70s and 80s used to be multiple chess clubs in most big cities and many smaller cities in the US (probably similar in UK). With the rise of internet chess that number has been decreasing.

Meetup.com and FB events have helped a bit w board game meetups. I've met people irl thru those platforms that's true.

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.
Everyone's definition of 'real' is different. Personally I cannot consider someone my friend if I've never met them. Potential friend, sure. But until you've spend a few hours w someone you don't know then very well. And until you've gone thru some adversity w someone your knowledge of them is superficial @ best.

My gf met her ex husband online. They chatted daily for hours for six months, he put on a good act but it wasn't until she met him that she really got to know him. Unfortunately by then she was already rather emotionally invested.

'Online friends' are a few levels down from drinking buddies, imo. Like the hotel California online you can checkout anytime you like. That's part of the addiction, I can engage w people on my schedule and shut them off when I'm done. Irl doesn't allow such selective engagement which is why it can become less desirable (especially for young people lacking social skills)

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.
So you think kids spending more time behind screens and less and less time with peers & engaged in their communities has had no effect on anxiety? Or are you just playing devils advocate?
 

Narz

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I think what it comes down to: To serve something artificial and dead will always be boring, though perhaps very rush-inducing on the short run, like a drug. Not unlike teenagers getting addicted to likes on Instagram. Be that money, status, your constructed identity... But all meaning ultimately springs forth from the heart, from love. From the divine. And if we all lived that... well the world would be a different one.
What would 'living that' look like?
 

Zardnaar

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Kids here going sift but the ones I know the parents drag them out hiking or on cycle trails.

The 10-12 year olds go camping and hiking in the mountains. 8 year olds a zombie half the time just switched off on his tablet. They've restricted his time and take it away for bad behavior.
 

Narz

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I do want to acknowledge the self-directed nature of the internet in many ways does make individuals more interesting. Each person is filled w more unique knowledge based on their interests which they can pursue as deeply as their free time allows. And if you live in some small town where no one in open to your hobbies, interests or personality you can find like-minded brethren online.

However culturally the trend seems to be people are becoming more isolated (some reversals in sight generally).

So individuals more interesting than in the 80s w 10 TV channels and most people just having access to pop culture and the library but culturally life is more dull imo
 

Gori the Grey

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I was out on a walk and saw two kids sitting on a step in front of their house looking down.

And I thought, "how charming, they're watching ants."

And I got closer and saw that each one was staring down at his own phone.

There's a chance they were playing a game with one another, online.
 

Synobun

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Somewhat amused by parents complaining about what their children are doing, as though they aren't the ones determining the activities available to them.
 

Farm Boy

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I dunno. Lots of people around with the power to **** with your kid's life whether you like it or not. Whether it's good for your kid or not. There is professional pride to be had.
 

TheMeInTeam

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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.

interestingly, i don't see a meaningful difference between a tabletop campaign run in person vs the same campaign being run with the same people online. but it's obvious to me that i'm in the minority here, most people do think this matters to some degree.

i get water cooler talk in a somewhat literal sense at work still, but also something similar on discord. there are people i talk to regularly for 10+ years who i have not met in person, and can reminisce about memories easier than i could with most of my high school friends (when internet usage was just starting and not nearly so prevalent).

but i again note that to most of my family, it is for some reason very important to all sit in the same room and talk, rather than organize to do exactly the same thing over discord or similar, with exactly the same amount of actual meaningful physical activity (sitting there then getting up occasionally for a drink or something). i would actually understand it somewhat, if they all wanted to play flag football or do dance lessons or something, anything that actually requires physical presence.
 

warpus

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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 have several nieces now, and none of them are addicted to the screen yet. They'll watch a disney movie here and there, but that's about it. My sister taught them to play with toys, outside, to draw, craft, etc. and they only ever use their laptops for school.

If I had kids I would raise them this way as well.

As for making life less boring.. these days you have so many more options for activities than kids and adults had in the past. IMO the more options you give people, the more bored they get :crazyeye:
 

Kaitzilla

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There are plenty of ways to spice life up.

Go to the grocery store.
But NOTHING except things you've never used before.
Same for restaurants.

Try different stores too.

I was shocked beyond belief that Pottery Barn makes IKEA stores look like peasants.

Either they are laundering money, cashing in from damaged furniture sales from fainting customers, or they make their year with 1 sale.
 

Narz

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Somewhat amused by parents complaining about what their children are doing, as though they aren't the ones determining the activities available to them.
Lol, easy for a non-parent to say.

A : you can't control your kids all the time (they see norms outside the home, in grocery stores, @ school, @ other kids' houses, @ family's house)
B : if you're a single parent you can't control what the other parent exposes them to (especially if the other parent doesn't communicate or cooperate)
C : have you ever been exhausted & made a poor life choice? Kids are 10x more exhausting than self-care (plus u still gotta do that) so occasionally you're going to give them options that aren't ideal
D : we live in a society (it's unnatural & unreasonable for one or two adults who work & do other stuff to be solely responsible for the development of their human, it takes a village & all that).

This type of reply makes me think of someone who reads about poverty & says "oh, well easy just work harder"
 

Synobun

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Lol, easy for a non-parent to say.

A : you can't control your kids all the time (they see norms outside the home, in grocery stores, @ school, @ other kids' houses, @ family's house)
B : if you're a single parent you can't control what the other parent exposes them to (especially if the other parent doesn't communicate or cooperate)
C : have you ever been exhausted & made a poor life choice? Kids are 10x more exhausting than self-care (plus u still gotta do that) so occasionally you're going to give them options that aren't ideal
D : we live in a society (it's unnatural & unreasonable for one or two adults who work & do other stuff to be solely responsible for the development of their human, it takes a village & all that).

This type of reply makes me think of someone who reads about poverty & says "oh, well easy just work harder"

For sure. Parents being responsible for the environment their children grow up in is definitely equivalent to bootstraps theory.
 

RuneMask

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At the age of my daughter (7), I spent all days with my friends in the yard, we were coming back after sunset. My daughter's reality is completely different, it worries me a lot.I try to take my daughter to dinner with my friends, we go on vacation together, we go to the swimming pool and I invite my friends with children - even my ex-women with children, to have company (which she likes very much).
Unfortunately, my daughter lives with her mother - and she has no ambition whatsoever. All her free time is lying in bed watching Netflix series - while playing mobile games ...
Children learn through imitation, so all I can do is set a good example and create the right environment
 

Quintillus

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Yeah, I generally agree. If there's a shortcoming of my upbringing, it was not enough unsupervised outdoor free-range time. Not enough encouragement to just go try random things with other kids, no parents around, to expand boundaries. And as a kid in a middle-class household, where things were quite stable, the natural inclination was to stick to what was comfortable.

Quite different from my mom's childhood in a working-class small town, which reportedly was of the free-range variety. All the way to the walking or biking over to your friend's house and knocking on the door to see what they were up to, because her family didn't have a phone (they were a few decades behind the times in that regard).

So what changed? I think the neighborhood aspects described are part of it. The "stranger danger" culture of the '80s carrying forward into the '90s is another, and the automotive dominance. My mom would bike out on the country roads for miles around; where I grew up, good luck not getting hit by a car if you tried that. As I got a bit older I would explore our entire subdivision, and figure out how to cross into the other one... but it wasn't nearly as free range as my parents' generation.

And I grew up before smartphones, and YouTube, and unlimited Internet at home. I don't know how you raise a kid to be normal nowadays. Or maybe it's straightforward because the new "normal" is being online all the time regardless of age, so a five-year-old spending half their day on YouTube is par for the course. Though I still shiver when I read "raised by YouTube comments".

----------------

I'm also inclined to agree that it's more difficult to find IRL activities, at least organically. Or maybe I'm just young enough that I never really learned how to do that well? I don't know. But it does seem like you find activities online, you find dates online, you find almost everything online. When do you ever find something just out of the blue? And even more so, how often do you find out about something because of neighborly (and I mean actual live-near-you neighborly) interactions? I guess I know the names of two of my neighbors in my new apartment, which is better than at the last place. But I've yet to live somewhere that had a real "neighborhood" feel.

(Ironically, I find I'm most likely to come across the type of spontaneous interaction I'm looking for locally when I'm traveling. There's a very significant chance this is because I'm more likely to take social risks and initiate conversations when it's somewhere I'm never going to be again after the next day; most often but not always I'm the one initiating conversation. But it does make me wonder, why don't I see more spontaneous interaction in "local" settings? We don't trust each other enough to talk in most local settings, but in a hotel bar or an airport lounge or a hiking trail or a small-town tavern or taco bar, it's okay to start conversations, and people tend to enjoy them)

Interesting strangers I talked to while traveling last year: Model railroader who built the railroad in the taco bar, oil worker who traveled to upstate New York every few weeks and stayed at the same hotel I was at, Pennsylvania woman who was building a house in Western Maryland and regularly swung by the local tavern after helping out at the home site during the day, senior citizen named Don from Florida who was an accountant whose kids were awful with finances, a few New Yorkers and ex-Ohioans at an airport bar where the bartender did a great job starting conversation, railroad worker with interesting enough tattoos to cause problems with airport security who was nevertheless quite well-traveled. And several smaller-scale interactions, these were just the longer conversations.

Interesting strangers who I met randomly locally: The dental receptionist who's from the same area of Michigan I used to travel to.

It's entirely possible I'm just living life wrong locally and living life correctly while I travel... but I can't help but wonder if that isn't a more general phenomenon as well.
 

Samson

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Yeah, I generally agree. If there's a shortcoming of my upbringing, it was not enough unsupervised outdoor free-range time. Not enough encouragement to just go try random things with other kids, no parents around, to expand boundaries. And as a kid in a middle-class household, where things were quite stable, the natural inclination was to stick to what was comfortable.

Quite different from my mom's childhood in a working-class small town, which reportedly was of the free-range variety. All the way to the walking or biking over to your friend's house and knocking on the door to see what they were up to, because her family didn't have a phone (they were a few decades behind the times in that regard).

So what changed? I think the neighborhood aspects described are part of it. The "stranger danger" culture of the '80s carrying forward into the '90s is another, and the automotive dominance. My mom would bike out on the country roads for miles around; where I grew up, good luck not getting hit by a car if you tried that. As I got a bit older I would explore our entire subdivision, and figure out how to cross into the other one... but it wasn't nearly as free range as my parents' generation.

And I grew up before smartphones, and YouTube, and unlimited Internet at home. I don't know how you raise a kid to be normal nowadays. Or maybe it's straightforward because the new "normal" is being online all the time regardless of age, so a five-year-old spending half their day on YouTube is par for the course. Though I still shiver when I read "raised by YouTube comments".

----------------

I'm also inclined to agree that it's more difficult to find IRL activities, at least organically. Or maybe I'm just young enough that I never really learned how to do that well? I don't know. But it does seem like you find activities online, you find dates online, you find almost everything online. When do you ever find something just out of the blue? And even more so, how often do you find out about something because of neighborly (and I mean actual live-near-you neighborly) interactions? I guess I know the names of two of my neighbors in my new apartment, which is better than at the last place. But I've yet to live somewhere that had a real "neighborhood" feel.

(Ironically, I find I'm most likely to come across the type of spontaneous interaction I'm looking for locally when I'm traveling. There's a very significant chance this is because I'm more likely to take social risks and initiate conversations when it's somewhere I'm never going to be again after the next day; most often but not always I'm the one initiating conversation. But it does make me wonder, why don't I see more spontaneous interaction in "local" settings? We don't trust each other enough to talk in most local settings, but in a hotel bar or an airport lounge or a hiking trail or a small-town tavern or taco bar, it's okay to start conversations, and people tend to enjoy them)

Interesting strangers I talked to while traveling last year: Model railroader who built the railroad in the taco bar, oil worker who traveled to upstate New York every few weeks and stayed at the same hotel I was at, Pennsylvania woman who was building a house in Western Maryland and regularly swung by the local tavern after helping out at the home site during the day, senior citizen named Don from Florida who was an accountant whose kids were awful with finances, a few New Yorkers and ex-Ohioans at an airport bar where the bartender did a great job starting conversation, railroad worker with interesting enough tattoos to cause problems with airport security who was nevertheless quite well-traveled. And several smaller-scale interactions, these were just the longer conversations.

Interesting strangers who I met randomly locally: The dental receptionist who's from the same area of Michigan I used to travel to.

It's entirely possible I'm just living life wrong locally and living life correctly while I travel... but I can't help but wonder if that isn't a more general phenomenon as well.
How are your local bars for random conversations? This is a core thing, having a pub/bar that you can go to alone and expect to talk to other people. Some are like that, some are not. I think the proportion is changing, in that there are fewer than there used to be that are good for random chats.
 

Gorbles

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Everyone's definition of 'real' is different. Personally I cannot consider someone my friend if I've never met them. Potential friend, sure. But until you've spend a few hours w someone you don't know then very well. And until you've gone thru some adversity w someone your knowledge of them is superficial @ best.

My gf met her ex husband online. They chatted daily for hours for six months, he put on a good act but it wasn't until she met him that she really got to know him. Unfortunately by then she was already rather emotionally invested.

'Online friends' are a few levels down from drinking buddies, imo. Like the hotel California online you can checkout anytime you like. That's part of the addiction, I can engage w people on my schedule and shut them off when I'm done. Irl doesn't allow such selective engagement which is why it can become less desirable (especially for young people lacking social skills)
I mean, exactly. Everyone's definition of real is different. So how can we possibly generalise beyond some incredibly basic truisms?

I've made some great relationships with people online, that I didn't have to meet in person for years. I know people happily married that met online. This fear of the unknown applied to the Internet makes little sense to me. And like I pointed out with the TV, with radio, with books . . . it's cyclic. Generational. The technology may change, but the lack of attempt from the older generation at relating to the hobbies of the younger don't seem to change (based on the limited available evidence).

This isn't mean saying there are no dangers to online relationships, for the record. But we're taking this from the anxiety / mental health angle, not the "don't talk to strangers" angle (which applies IRL as well).
So you think kids spending more time behind screens and less and less time with peers & engaged in their communities has had no effect on anxiety? Or are you just playing devils advocate?
I'm saying you're the one making the claim, you back it up. I think you're projecting your personal preferences with regards to society onto mental health. Playing devil's advocacy has no interest for me.
 

Narz

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For sure. Parents being responsible for the environment their children grow up in is definitely equivalent to bootstraps theory.
Obviously you're responsible for your kids but you can't control everything. But hey if you want to blame your parents for all your problems it's cool.

It basically is bootstraps theory projected onto the family, personal responsibility is primary and if you complain about culture or external influences you're a lil b**** who just needs to buck up and show those kids what's what.
 
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Samson

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Obviously you're responsible for your kids but you can't control everything. But hey if you want to blame your parents for all your problems it's cool.
Spoiler Rude words on youtube :
 

Narz

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I've made some great relationships with people online, that I didn't have to meet in person for years. I know people happily married that met online. This fear of the unknown applied to the Internet makes little sense to me
I also met plenty of folks online. It's not that the medium is bad or has no use. And I wouldn't say it's 'unknown', the damages of screentime replacing RL interactions are known and will be as obvious as smoking damages over the coming decades.

I'm saying you're the one making the claim, you back it up. I think you're projecting your personal preferences with regards to society onto mental health. Playing devil's advocacy has no interest for me

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/cover-kids-screens

As with young children, there are reasons for concern over large amounts of screen time in tweens and teens. Correlational studies have shown that 8- to 11-year-olds who exceed screen time recommendations scored lower on cognitive assessments, with compliance with recommendations explaining about a fifth of the overall variance in cognitive scores (The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Vol. 2, No. 11, 2018). A combination of screen time and too little sleep has also been associated with heightened impulsivity in the same age group (Pediatrics, Vol. 144, No. 3, 2019).

These studies weren’t designed to show causal relationships, though, says Gary Goldfield, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Ottawa who coauthored both studies. It could be that increased impulsivity or struggles with cognition drive the excess screen time. Nevertheless, in numerous studies, Goldfield and his team have consistently found the best mental health and cognitive outcomes in teens who do one hour of physical activity each day, sleep eight to 10 hours a day and use screens recreationally less than two hours a day.

Researchers have also found links between screen time and various health outcomes in teens, though again, establishing definitive causal relationships is difficult. The firmest associations are between screen time and obesity and screen time and depressive symptoms, according to a systematic review of reviews published by University College London (UCL) psychologist Neza Stiglic, PhD, and Russell Viner, PhD, a professor of adolescent health at UCL (BMJ Open, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2019). Most research on obesity focused on television viewing and found that more time spent watching TV was associated with a higher body mass index or body fat composition. Multiple studies also found that screen use of more than two hours a day was correlated with depressive symptoms. The reviewers found moderate evidence linking screen time to poorer quality of life, higher caloric intake and less-healthy diets.

https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/social-media-threatening-teens-mental-health-and-well-being
 
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