Friday, February 29, 2008

Removing Ourselves from Real Experience

I was thinking today about how we lead lives that are geared toward experiences that are removed. For example, instead of cooking for ourselves, we watch other people cook on the Food Network.

Now, I love the Food Network as much as the next person - maybe more than some. But isn't there something odd about the fact that most of the people who watch it never cook? Not nessarily cook something they saw on the Food Network, but they just don't cook. But they like to watch other people cook.

I would wager the same is true of quilting shows, crafting shows and a host of other things.

Consider that we no longer get on bicycles and ride somewhere we need to go, or even to a park for enjoyment. Instead we go to climate controlled gyms and ride stationery bikes while watching scenery on TV. Isn't there something basic wrong with that scenario? We don't want to have the actual experience of riding a bike outdoors, we experience it in a removed fashion.

We play video games about exploring worlds, instead of just going outside our houses and actually exploring our neighborhoods. We chat with strangers online instead of going to the diner down the street and having a real conversation with a real live person. Somehow we want to remove ourselves from the actual experience.

I'm not sure what is at work, as I sit here along, blogging about these questions, instead of talking to someone about them. But, in my defense, everyone I know in real life has long ago gotten bored with my continual questions, which are always plentiful. Obviously, I should find more friends - new people who haven't yet been bored with the questions. I could even recycle some from long ago.

People are Open on the Open Road

I've been thinking a lot lately about how some people are open and some are more closed. What prompted this were the number of times on the open road that I've had impromptu conversations with people. However, I'm not sure that it's that people are open or if the situation is open.

What is it about the open road that encourages that? It's not that you're all travelling because you're often talking to a local. Is it that I'm more open? Is it that I have a question I wouldn't have at home and that opens it up? Why is it that we can have this interaction with people on the road that we don't have at home?

It's something I'm pondering these days. I know I love being on the open road and that's one of the reasons.