I have been pondering about going on an Internet or videogaming “detox” lately, where I don’t play games or use the Internet for about a year. It’s a bit hard to explain why, it’s not something that can be easily put down in words. Until I came across this blog post on ArseBlog.com. It summarises my thoughts precisely. I’ll highlight the most important bits below:
Do you ever look at what’s happening in the world and feel kinda scared? The stuff that’s going on at the moment is genuinely frightening. A big shift to the right, intolerance on the rise, it doesn’t matter if you lie any more apparently. You can say whatever you want and people can disprove it, but it makes no difference to anything. War, people treating each other like they’re less than human simply because of where they come from, or the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, what they believe in, or even how desperate they are.
Sometimes I think we attach too much importance to football. A thing that can provide us with an escape, some entertainment, or a way of putting all that other stuff in the background, becomes all-consuming to the point where lose touch with what it actually is.
Yet there’s now a demand for perfection that goes against that completely. Every game must be a convincing win, otherwise we’re failing somehow. And in that people forget to enjoy the game, the company, the people, the friendships, the occasion, the fact that it can lift you up and make you forget your troubles – even for a little while.
If someone spends their day fighting and arguing online – even at a time when things are going relatively well – then what hope is there when their default position is anger?
Sometimes I attach too much importance to the things I enjoy in life. Football, pro wrestling, videogames. Especially pro wrestling. After Roman Reigns won the WWE title at this year’s Wrestlemania, I was absolutely livid and defiantly changed my Steam profile nickname to “Fuck Roman Reigns _|_ ” for three months until he dropped it to Dean Ambrose. I think I lost a couple of Steam friends because of this.
When we invest so much in something, especially our time and money, we feel obligated to get something good in return. We want instant, positive results from our favourite football teams. We want every videogame we play to be a perfect experience. We want every pro wrestler that holds the title belt to be “worthy”, to have earned it. Every championship final or cup final must be a AAA five-star match. And when these things don’t meet our expectations, we become angry and vent our frustrations on the Internet.
To use a videogame example, look at what happened to No Man’s Sky. Instead of just learning from the game’s mistakes and overhyped features, gamers are refusing to move on and feel like it’s their entitlement, their right to bash the game and the developers. It’s supposed to be a game, yet people are treating it like some global disaster that killed millions of people.
And I’m starting to become very tired of reading stuff like this. There’s so much hate speech, bigotry, and reckless comments on the Internet everywhere. It’s even made its way to traditional mainstream media like television and newspapers. Just look at what Donald Trump or Rodrigo Duterte are saying every day.
One of my friends once casually asked me awhile back: “Do you even use Facebook?”
I don’t post a lot of stuff on Facebook. I use it mainly to see what my friends are up to, to view interesting articles, photos, and maybe the occasional troll post or joke video. I prefer to post stuff on Twitter instead. Short, sharp, concise thoughts about the topics that interest me. That’s what the true power of social media is about: the ability to socialise and share things with each other. Instead, most of the stuff I see on my Facebook feed are angry rants. People complaining about the most insignificant inconveniences in their lives. One of the dumbest posts I’ve seen was from a fellow Singaporean complaining about being spot-checked in our country’s Changi Airport by a security officer. He went into a full, multi-paragraph tirade about how the officer had deliberately singled him out, and even dared to challenge the officer.
Huh?? In this post-September 11 age, with the influence of ISIS spreading closer and closer to home, you’re complaining about a security officer carrying out a routine check? It’s part of his fucking job, he’s doing his part to keep our nation safe.
I promised myself in my previous blog post that I’ll lower the aggressive tone of my posts, so I’ll end this short and sweetly. To everyone that continues making the effort to post well-researched or well-constructed articles with the aim of educating others and to encourage discussion, keep doing what you do. Knowledge is power but only if it can be passed on.
I can’t believe I’m writing this all because of an Arsenal blog post. Pure banter.