Attention, passengers: your health is all you have

Connect the world, with Mr. Anderson. My friend from elementary school (the place where we go to discuss commentators of Conan Doyle’s reception under a socioeconomical light) really liked Silverchair, and she tried to make me see how cool the world of music could be; but in the year 2000, I was watching The Matrix with my mom. Apples and oranges, comrade. Fast forward to your first mental breakdown in college, when you had to write an impossible essay that seemed totally basic for the wildly literate, monocle wearing professor, and you have an issue that most of us ignore, but now seems to be raising concern in traditional families: attention span. How do we make our younger generations focus on what really matters, and not fall into the rabbit holes, click holes or conversational strategies on their favorite apps (see what I did there?) without realizing there’s no turning back from there? The good news is that’s fake news; the bad news, well, is that some people are paid money to tell you what’s real and what’s not, including the realest things you’ve ever seen in your life, at those moments when your mind needed a little bit of a rest from constant brain throbs with just a quick icecream commercial. Come on, dude. The world changes, and you know what I’m talking about.

While it may seem too complicated to understand how digital media evolved — developed, stratified, multiplied, diversified –, it’s nobody’s business to say the anchor isn’t polite being enough whilst staring at a camera and saying out loud the name of a politician who hasn’t slept for 48 hours, an athlete who got dumped and saw his performance decline, a city that witnessed unusual weather conditions, and so on and so forth. But nobody cares anymore. We’re beyond YouTube, baby. Lipsyncing is the new game. Unless, of course, you have absolutely no idea of what the lyrics want to say. Can anyone imagine a 10 year old singing Amy Winehouse? Cause hey, I can, and it’s beautiful.

Brazil, albeit irregularly, has developed a lot. Common sense, isn’t it? People ignoring reports that not 5%, but 0.1% speak fluent English is the new normal. Yes, it’s pretty sad, considering the efforts to raise awareness on the importance of testing, but we’re not a country where suicide rates are on the high: we are vibrant and happy, but some of us tend to carry a bit of a burden of anger, for some reason, upon our shoulders. That means to say we’re seeing all kinds of violent discourse on the web, but if we want to be optimistic about it — about the web, not violence — and shape the future of our interconnected communicational models, we do need to work on blocking and banning, eventually. Which seems annoyingly generic for the vigilante who didn’t get a sick leave from the IT company, but if there’s one thing I learned about living in a house with angry people it’s the fact, disputable or not (because it’s 2020), that when you cook on a marble sink, you need to buy more bleach. What does that have to do with learning English, you ask? Well, cooking is very educational, but try an instructional video of a recipe in foreign language.

I have no idea why I started liking music when I first listened to Linkin Park. But that’s not entirely true: I was watching Titanic again and again, which eventually led to my uncle buying a live concert where the theme song is played. And in case you’re wondering how this is even related, I’m still talking about the problem of attention span. Of course I am: music, movies, news. The information overload might be a problem, but also part of a solution, if you want to savor it. What we do next is curate the contents in which we see a possible interest and bring them to a general audience (ours, in fact). If we focus on our lives while connected to everybody else’s, we’ll fail to understand half of what we need to be doing. If we can’t see what others are telling us to do, or worse, what they want to do to us, we’ll fail to be independent. And in some countries, that’s a very difficult thing to achieve.

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