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Amusing Ourselves to Death

In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman speaks of Huxley’s vision of the future and why it may be more accurate than Orwell’s. Just in reading the foreword of Postman’s book gave me chills. It’s scary to think how accurately he predicted future society. This is the world I grew up in, I know no other way, so it is strange to read something about my world written from a different one. Even growing up in this world, I feel something is not quite right. There is a disconnect between people and what’s happening around them. We are not at a point in society where we don’t have real thoughts or feelings all together, we are not nearly to the extreme of the Fahrenheit 451 society, but it’s not like it was; it’s not how we were intended to live. We live in a world where problems and feelings are to be numbed. When I have a stressful day and need to relax, I don’t sit down with a book and my thoughts. No, I sit down with a computer, to exile my thoughts. To teach a child their numbers, a mother no longer sits with her child to interact. Instead she sits her child down in front of a TV and lets technology do the teaching. If a child is being bullied at school, they turn on Disney channel, where there’s an important episode about dealing with harsh people. We’re practically raised by screens and when problems arise in our lives, we don’t go to adults. No, instead we go to that which has always been there for us, the “person” in our lives that we’ve spent more time listening to than anyone else. But relating to a fictional problem does not solve a real problem. At the least it provides short term numbing of the hurt. At the most, it provides a simple lesson with no personal support. The time of Fahrenheit 451 has not come, but the time of amusement and ignorance certainly has.

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