Editorial: Pwet Society

It was a fictional schizophrenic man’s imaginary friend who made one of the strongest remarks of our generation’s boredom. “We’re the middle children of history, men. No purpose or place. We have no great war, no great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives."

Our life is a series of controls. There aren’t many of them, but “THINK” is rarely utilized. It is the pop-up box of our faculties. What we know about the world and what our opinions about it should be are fed to us through various information gateways. The effect is double edged. On one side, our capacity for knowledge expands. On the other, our attention spans become as narrow as they can ever be.

As a consequence, we are left with a dichotomous life of memorizing and busting our boredom. As for the former, it is intended for a certain duty, and that is to acquire enough status to be called a “success.” How many philosophers you can quote, mathematical axioms you can apply, economic forces you can identify, scientific factoids you can remember, articles in the Constitution you can recite, and perhaps maybe even how many saints you can implore to, scale an individual’s greatness. But if that is the case, a number of us easily qualify for greatness, especially when it really no longer requires passion.

As for the latter consequence, there are oceans upon oceans of boredom busters on the Internet alone. And though deemed useless and transient, these distractions have successfully utilized our boredom as their market. Another interesting observation to take note of is that the gain doesn’t even have to be monetary; nevertheless, we are so easily hooked on our investments on social networks, applications, microblogs and viral videos. And though not aspiring for anything great, it is evident that this is where our passions really are.

There are no consequences in quenching the drought that boredom brings, but our measures in doing so have critical implications. First is our primacy on quantity. The number of contacts, blog comments, karma levels, tweets, gifts and points to be able to buy new items leads to an obvious law: the greater the virtual capital, the greater our capital for something else. But what is it that we’re really counting? What is it that we’re really measuring? What is it that we’re actually achieving?

Which leads us to the other implication of all these. Does it all really matter in the end? We have goals but our goals don’t have goals as they are endless. We may have established cozy, rococo homes for our virtual pets, reached “nirvana” for adamantly updating our bulletin boards of random ideas, and have three digit number of contacts and stalkers. But what else comes after we have reached an end, when the purpose of that end is to not stop attaining that end again and again? Technically, all we really need to do to level up is to intensify already established routines. The same goes whether we are able to unlock bonus items as usage intensifies, or not.

In the end, in a virtual world, the rewards are simply virtual, no matter how real the satisfaction is. And how the game rolls is a lot more peculiar now, because at least video games then had storylines and endings to unlock.

And with that, the last implication is how all these translate into the ho-hums of our lives. We don’t know how to be detached – both from others and our own routines – so we can never really scale who we are without daring to be applauded or ostracized for nonconformist ideas. We never really have genuine discoveries because all we have are variants of the same thing. We are not really aware of what’s going on in worlds besides our own. We have no replenished spirits or wars because we are so passionate with having absolutely no causes. ▪