The Death Of Spontaneity

When people bemoan the lack of spontaneity in their lives it’s worth remembering that in the modern era it has become increasingly difficult to be spontaneous. For example, when once you could wake up on a Saturday morning and decide to go to a football match that afternoon, you now have to have bought an extremely expensive ticket weeks in advance, for top flight football at least. There’s also the distinct possibility of having already purchased membership to the club solely so you would be in with a chance of securing a ticket before some, if any, were left for public sale. The same applies to gigs and music festivals. To go to a music festival in July you have to buy a ticket the previous August or if you are lucky, in January when you’re still trying to get over Christmas.

Everything has to be pre-planned, or almost everything. Thankfully there are still some instances when it’s possible for people to live in the moment, unsure of the outcome but with the prospect of joy and excitement within grasp. One of the best examples of this in recent times was the final day of the English Premier League season 2011-2012 when Manchester City won the title with virtually the last kick of the ball.

For some time now, and in direct correlation with the increasing popularity of the camera phone, there is a tendency not to live in the moment and instead hold a camera and film things in the hope that a “moment” might occur and will be caught on camera for prosperity.

Since the drama played out at Manchester City that day was so last minute and unprecedented, very few in the stadium were sitting with their camera phones rolling in expectation that City would score two injury time goals and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. As a consequence, everyone was watching events develop with their own eyes and emotions as opposed to through a viewfinder.  This is refreshing as it seems that at football matches the minute a corner is awarded, 2-3 thousand people seem to see this as a cue to get their camera out and take a picture of a player taking a kick which statistically, has a 1 in 100 chance of leading to a goal.

It’s not dissimilar at gigs of course when it appears that some attending are only there to rush home after the encore and upload their footage on to YouTube which nobody will ever watch, including the uploader. Live life through your own eyes, not a viewfinder – it’s what they were originally designed for.

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