Onscreen Equivalent

I gave some thought to the question: what sort of “real life” could I lead that would be equal in entertainment-value to the stuff I see onscreen? In other words, can I imagine a lifestyle so enthralling that I would prefer it to staring at a glowing screen all day? OR, is my physical presence simply a means to consume media (TV shows, video-games, etc)?

I suppose what it boils down to is this: instead of watching shows or playing games filled with entertaining interactions, I would need to find myself having real-world interactions that are just as fun. But if you take yourself too seriously, that’s not gonna happen. And it’s true, I do take myself too seriously, and I don’t often have fun interacting with “real life”.

So in order to enjoy “real life”, I would need to become more easy-going. As it is, I tend to tense-up whenever I walk out the door. At the very least, I’m simply waiting to get annoyed by something: Too crowded? Food not perfect? A fly bothering me?! Cigarette smoke!? Leaf blower!!? Smells, noises, and flies — oh my!!! And that’s just the surface stuff. Wait until I start analyzing the underlying problems!!!

At least onscreen, all externalities are mitigated. There are no smells or extraneous noises or crowds or anything else that shouldn’t be there. Onscreen stuff is predictable — and even if surprises happen, the consequences are minor. I suppose it boils down to the same problem I’ve had from the beginning: I distrust life — I keep assuming that it’s out to get me.

Therefore, consuming media might be a means of avoiding “real life”. If I assume life is unpleasant, then of course I’d try to avoid it!! But what’s more likely to be true: that life is an inherently unpleasant experience OR I’m a clueless noob that has no idea what he’s doing, and I’m screwing things up for myself. Hmm….

Logically I’d have to assume that I’m doing “life” wrong. Instead of always watching my back, I need to loosen up and laugh. When life presents an interaction opportunity, I shouldn’t assume it’s a trap. Upon every scene-change I shouldn’t wonder: “How is life going to inflict damage on me this time!?” I should say instead: “What wondrous delight awaits me now!?”

If I had come into existence receiving everything I wanted, I would’ve been unable to appreciate it, always suspicious of what kind of trap it was baiting me for. So the question of a more entertaining life is moot UNTIL I’ve reached a mental state capable of appreciating it. And the way to improve in anything is through practice — so practice by trusting and appreciating the life you have right now.