People are baffling; sometimes seeming more alien than Martians. We all have our idiosyncrasies, I know, but come on. Polar Bear Clubs? Hot dog eating contests? Bouffants? Skydiving? What the Hell are we thinking? Well, we’re not.
We’d rather face a firing squad than our own thoughts.
A recent study in Science revealed how twitchy we get at the prospect of being alone with an idle mind. We’d rather shock ourselves. With electricity. This is not a joke. Participants were offered the choice of sitting alone and thinking for a 15-minute session or sitting alone and sending jolts of electricity into their body — bzzzt.
Eyes lit up, literally. Two-thirds of the men and a quarter of the women zapped themselves, something like 7 times — on average.
One dude, whose data was left out of the study, shocked himself 190 times. (“I have no idea what was going on there,” said Timothy Wilson, University of Virginia professor of psychology and lead author of the study.) Granted, the gizmo was built around a 9-volt battery, not exactly a Taser, but a shock nevertheless.
No one should be that desperate for diversion. No one. It isn’t healthy; it’s bizarre. What kind of Hellscape do these folks live with?
People walk and text, spellbound by their bright, shiny technology, and, fwiiip, fall through gaping holes in the pavement. Or they wander into oncoming traffic, hypnotized by a tweet or an email or Facebook. We’re zombies, completely oblivious to our surroundings; the dangers and obstacles, as well as the beauty and wonder.
Wake up. Look around. There’s a world out here and you, my heedless little friends, are missing all of it. One day you’ll look up from your tiny three-inch screens and, whoa, you’re old. And lost. Maybe trapped underground. Is that what you want? For life and its three-dimensional glory to pass you by? Really?
Get help. Grab your phablet or smartphone or whatever and google a good psychotherapist. Quick, there’s no time to waste.
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