It’s also not surprising that there has been an emergence of more adrenaline-pumping activities. Adrenalin is great to fight boredom, and physical things are naturally great for getting adrenaline rushes. Some people I know hang out in gyms and similar popular “sweatshops”, not because they want to become more physically fit, but because they get bored too easily, although they convince themselves and their friends that it’s the idea of becoming fit that appeals to them. I’m sure that there is a mix of reasons, but “not getting bored” is one of them.
One thing that always amazes me is the notion of going out to clubs every night listening to eardrum-splitting music all the time and “hanging out with friends”. I’m not really talking about the way kids spend their time these days; my own generation did the same in their teens, and I still have some friends in the 40-50 age range who do it as often as they can (more often than they did in their teens, as a matter of fact — they have more money to spend as adults!). Strangely, it’s not about the music. For some it might be a hunt for a date, but most simply say that they go there because they want to stop thinking for a while and forget about their horrible lives. This is something that fills me with pity — the idea that you have to immerse yourself into some sort of extreme physical stimulation to forget about yourself. But, of course, that’s also the reason why people resort to legal and illegal drugs all the time, so I shouldn’t be surprised. A strong workout in the gym following a routine from
FitnessTrainer.com; extreme sports; or loud music at a club are just variants of the same theme: ways to stop the boredom of being on your own and having to think on how to get some sort of entertainment.
Now let’s get back to Second Life. When I first logged in, everything was new and shiny, and immediately appealing — I love to retell the story on how I spent 90 minutes just tweaking my avatar’s shape, before even taking a step into this brand new virtual space. And then spending 20 hours on my first day in SL. What did I do? Besides some exploring, what fascinated me most was watching people building amazing things on the sandboxes. For many, watching other people building might be incredibly boring. It is — but I wasn’t really passively watching: I was observing how fantastic this virtual world was, where one could create all those amazing things, and how all these talented, creative people were so engaged in doing their amazing work that they could spend hours and hours on it. Naturally enough, after a few days, and some struggles with the user interface, I did my own attempts (with zero success, but it was nevertheless fun all the way