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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Do you have that with the sad kitten saying “crying”? The “stickers” and the age of distraction

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Busy fingers are happy fingers,” I heard Woody Allen say in an interview, and entertainment is a significant source of well-being: we may need less than we think to be reasonably happy. With basic needs met and mind distracted, a contemporary version of the “bread and circuses” that Juvenal mentioned in his satires as early as the second century emerges, a very convenient situation for those in power who would rather see us engaged in some hobby than worrying about us to make the origin of the gas that will heat us in future winters.

One of those hobbies that is growing in popularity is available to everyone on our chiripitophones: it consists of collecting sticker on WhatsApp or Telegram, to later show the world the large collection of small drawings that we have carefully curated as if we were Thyssen baronesses of the digital sticker.

the closest sticker What I remember are the cards from my childhood. I’m not talking about the classic album cards, but about the die-cut sheets that belonged exclusively to the girls’ universe: floral, with Victorian-style putti and, most preciously, sprinkled with glitter. The nuns at my school would not let us sit in the yard to play with them or change their clothes; They were post-Vatican II nuns and wanted to see us play basketball or volleyball (that’s what we called volleyball back then), not flatten our precious stamps that we kept in tin cans. Today, the flattened trade in virtual postage stamps is our daily spelled bread for a large proportion of adults on every continent, and although it has worried essayists like Nicholas Carr for years, who in Superficial (Debolsillo) wondered what the internet is doing to our heads, and Julia Bell, in her essay radical care (Alpha Decay) reflects the era of distraction we live in, we carry on there and gain instant gratification based on intangible maps.

Try it: In a working WhatsApp chat with a not too close contact, send an after the goodbye at the end of the conversationsticker a thoughtful cat next to a glass of wine or a fried egg blowing kisses through the white. There your interlocutor, unless he is a strict lieutenant colonel, will open his heart and begin an intense and sudden friendship that will materialize in a fast-paced game of table tennis sticker, where everyone will try to show their stripes in the form of a sticker, as if they were civilian medals of merit. Why don’t you have that one with the sad kitten saying “Lloranding”? And the one with the dog in the wig? (well, one of the many dogs with wigs) And the Pope laughs out loud? And of course, at some point, someone sends their most valuable treasure: the sticker by Borja’s Ecce Homo after the failed repaint, subtitled “I did what I could”. Although this sharing without limits sometimes has certain limits: for example that Carlos Menem, who forms a small heart with his hands, sent by an Argentine friend, must be discarded for Iberian subjects who would not appreciate him enough.

As the world continues on its somber course, we spend more hours than we should cutting out, transforming, and mass-posting absurd photos. That’s why I decided to write about this banality, because I see you all – and myself – curating your phone sticker collection and commenting on the newly acquired novelties, and I feel that the matter deserves urgent attention. In fact, this liniment for our wounded lives, while also a source of harmful distraction, has garnered interest even in the university community. When theses are written about the composition of umbilical lint (Georg Steinhauser, Vienna University of Technology), how should one not devote attention to this phenomenon as well. And this is how it is: I put on my half-distance glasses and go to academic Google, where I find the thesis of a young student from the University of Almería dealing with that sticker from an ethnolinguistic point of view. In Brazil, they are also researching the “Bem Humorada Interaction” generated by digital stickers on WhatsApp. Take it now And that has come to stay, like the Memes Festival that took place in Buenos Aires in 2021 and the one of the same name that takes place in Madrid in June this year.

The writer Jorge Carrión, in an article he published in New York Times in Spanish he qualified memes with the apt term “precarious craftsmanship”. Here we are even one step lower in terms of precariousness, since the sticker is the meme’s little cousin. This poverty of sticker Homemade we sometimes make for our relatives (“Send me a photo of your cat and I’ll turn it into a virtual sticker, or send me this one of you eating a triangle of dripping pizza and I’ll catapult you to fame” ) is related to one of the Mother’s Day drawings we gave to ours every first Sunday in May. But whether we view them as infantilizing maps or mini-pieces of digital art, sticker They are as much a part of our daily life as the ticket. So if we can’t beat them, let’s relax and enjoy their ever-present presence, they’re still having a good time between us.

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Source elpais.com

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