Tytti Rintanen – Alone together at night

I have never truly been a great fan of gaming. I guess it’s because my parents never bought us Nintendo gadgets. But, some time ago I had a habit of lulling my brain into sleeping mode by playing a word game on my phone, before starting to sleep. This helped me to put behind the day’s pressure and relax. I guess “I am my father’s son” as also why my dad likes to do crosswords in the evenings. Quite quick I started to get used to the ritual.

Soon it turned out that people are really addicted to that simple word game: no matter what time I went to bed and had my moment of a word puzzle, there were always the same people winning the game. I started to wonder, who are these people? How is it possible that they spend enough time playing the app, for me to run into them almost every evening during my games?

The app would show the number of people online and playing and it happened that several hundreds of people were online even when I’d come home in the early hours, in the middle of the week. I remember the weird sensation of being together with these Finnish people, in the middle of the night, and still being alone in my privacy.

All those people staying up to compete each other on their phone screens…? Every evening? For hours? The zombie theory seems to be alarmingly true, as it explains the thrill of it, I guess. However, I am not interested in growing an addiction and I think random habits are made to be challenged. So I grew tired of the game instead, and deleted the app. But the meetings are still going on in the dark bedrooms, without me, I’m sure.



Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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