Willing servants

On one hand we have the small screen of television and on the other the even smaller screen of our mobile phone: We could look on them as something like the Symplegades, the legendary clashing rocks that Jason and the Argonauts were advised to avoid. Only that we, or many of us, represent a new type of Argonaut. We are rushing to escape the Symplegades – maybe we don’t even really want to. We have overdosed, making us willing servants of two market products which were meant to help us tackle one of the biggest problems of modern life: time management, especially our free time. In most homes, the TV is always on, no matter what the program is. Our mobile phone is always busy – and it’s rarely an emergency call. Our lives tends to be ruled by the box, and communication in its various forms hypnotizes, deceives and manipulates society. We have given too much attention to television. We became gradually addicted to its gray light. And we have allowed it to become our sole link to the outside world. Because of daily stress or the fact that we are irritated by traffic or the state of our dismal finances, we go out less and less and instead spend more hours in front of the box. The virtual world is gradually replacing the real one in all its manifestations: recreation, civic life, sports. We know all about the lives of celebrities (whether they star in soaps, investigative journalism programs or vulgar reality shows), yet we haven’t greeted our neighbors since New Year’s Day – and we are already into November. We depend exclusively on TV for our political information – mostly on populist programs that run on the «everyone-is-corrupt-but-us» mantra. So what if we later tell the pollsters that it’s all about sensationalism and high ratings? We slump into our sofas, ruled by the highest power: the AGB ratings.

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