The 4th Wall

12 04 2008

Isn’t life lonely nowadays? No one talks to anyone anymore.

At the gym, no matter how busy it is in there, it’s silent. All that could be heard are the whirring sounds from the stationary bikes or the ellipticals. There isn’t a single person not listening to their mp3 players. Everyone is in their own little bubble – they rush in, get their stuff done and then rush out – all the while not saying a single word to anyone else. Sometimes they come in with their friends, but even when they sit next to each other, they shove their ear buds in and stare off into empty space while they peddle away.

I talked to my mom about this and she told me how when we first arrived in Canada, she hated our family car. Even though we were driving around to social events, we still isolated ourselves on the way to and from the place of gathering. She thought that if we didn’t rush about in our daily lives, silent, we wouldn’t have to rush about all the more to places where we could be ‘social’.

A book I read in grade 8 came back to me when I was talking about this. It was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. In the book, Mildred, the wife, had wanted to install a 4th interactive television on the last empty wall of the room. She wanted to belong to this television family and enclose herself in that bubble which will isolate her from the rest of the world. This strange notion in a dystopia world is no different that what is happening in our own society. We all try our best with Facebook, Myspace and whatnot to find people who are similar in interest with us, when all we have to do sometimes, is to open our mouths and talk. Whether it be in line waiting or on the bus, if we could just find the courage to talk it’d be so much better. The world would be a bit less lonely.