It’s not as simple as logging your TV and movie time: Entertainment is much more complicated, subtle, and encompassing than that.
When my sister was born in January of 1984 (I was about 2 ½) she gave me a Garfield stuffed animal as present. I realize that the idea of a newborn baby giving her older brother a gift the day she is born may seem illogical, but my parents’ idea to keep me feeling special that day worked. Because I didn’t question the rationale of my sister’s gift until high school. That Garfield doll ended up being one of my favorite childhood toys. I dressed him up in my dad’s whitey-tighties; they were Garfield’s diaper.
A major part of being a kid is being strung along by your parents. It’s a constant, endless series of countless waiting rooms, strange places, and unfamiliar people. But all I could really think of was eating, drinking, and peeing. And when I checked all those activities off the list, that meant I must be bored.
So I needed something to entertain myself. During the younger years, Garfield in my dad’s underwear did the trick. I eventually graduated from the stuffed animal circuit to video games and action figures. Then to playing guitar by the time I started junior high. Evidently the worst thing in the world was to be bored. So I always had someway to entertain myself.
*This explains the psychology behind Swiss Army SUV (Nick Shell’s Turtle Shell). Click that title to read more about it.
But I have to imagine that most people, like me, carry this idea of constantly entertaining themselves into adulthood, for the rest of their lives. And as Ive learned by now, a tangible object isn’t necessary for entertainment- though something as subtle as checking for new text messages 33 times a day is a popular form of fighting subconscious boredom.
I learned as a child to use my imagination to daydream; while I still do that on an hourly basis, I’ve also made a habit of planning my future and coming up with ideas for my life. And I figure I’m not the only one. I figure that most people find some way to entertain themselves throughout the day, despite the busyness of life. In between the busyness of life. And during the busyness of life. Even if it’s just while waiting in line, sitting at a red light, or zoning out at work (and often even not realizing we’re doing it).
Heckler-reader yells out: “Bahahaha…You just wait ‘til you have a baby, that’ll all change!”
Yes, life will change and my time will be spent in different ways and I will be functioning on less sleep. But no matter how preoccupied I am with life and all its responsibilities and distractions, there are still moments throughout any day, even if it’s while I’m falling asleep, that I fill in those moments of fading consciousness with random thoughts like, “What was Grimace supposed to be, anyway?”
So how what percentage of my day is spent on entertainment? It’s pretty much a trick question. Because at least for me, my mind is constantly in entertainment mode. Even when I’m asleep, dreaming.