Struggling to Understand the Complexity of “Great Expectations”

I just opened my Instagram account to find out when I bought “Great Expectations” since I unusually didn’t put any dates and my own signature in the book. I was ashamedly surprised that I did make a post in the account when I was only few days reading the fiction. The date of the post was back in March and I finished reading the book just today. Yep, about eight months!

It isn’t actually the whole eight months of reading the fiction daily or weekly. The truth is I abandoned the novel for months, I barely touched it. I blamed the sentimental atmosphere of the book, especially concerning Pip, the book’s protagonist, as the main reason causing me away from the fiction but the actual cause is that I was lazy, I let my mind got distracted by social media and other books.

In fact, I purchased some titles after I abandoned the novel. “North and South” for instance is a quick-reading. I even finished “The Professor” sooner than the Charles Dickens’ masterpiece.

“Great Expectations” is my third attempt reading his books. I have a good experience enjoying “The Old Curiosity Shop” but I stop reading “Bleak House” for how many months I don’t even remember. I am almost at the brink of swearing to myself that should I don’t have willingness to finish reading “Great Expectations”, I will never, ever again read books by Dickens! Two titles are way too much to make myself drowned in guilty.

Thanks to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story collection that I bought almost two weeks ago, I was forced to fulfill the promise that I made on my own, as simple as finished reading books that I had bought. There was like a lightning striking my face that invited harder than I had never thought as within two weeks, I completed reading not only “Great Expectations” but also “The Professor”. I was shocked by this fact a few minutes ago while writing this. Doing this is such a personal record for me because not only this is the first time I seize my reading power back but also because the two titles are very hard to grasp, especially “Great Expectations”.

To my own surprise, I completed reading “Great Expectations” in less than a week for around 200 pages! Oh yes, I was insane, in good way! Though I was reading the book in fast speed, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t enjoying reading the fiction. The truth is I was so captivated with the mysteries, puzzles, shocks wrapped in the book that I found it hard to put it down. My eyes even got sore last night as my reading approaching the last 20, 10 pages of the fiction.

Man, the book is superb that I can’t actually sure where to begin reviewing it. It’s one of the most difficult novels that I have to dealt with so far. In the beginning, I couldn’t stand of the emotions felt by major characters of the book, particularly Pip. As I said earlier, he is so sentimental and sensitive that I was partly honest when I wrote in the beginning of the post that his sentimentality was one of the things that I couldn’t take it anymore.

I left the book unread for some months when I was reaching the 2/3 part of it. In addition of the Pip’s sentimentality, another factor that drove me away from it was the coming of minor characters when Pip was in London while living as a gentleman. He soon had new friends, acquaintances, new faces that emerged along the way. Here, Dickens actually shows the actual picture of what it means to live a luxurious life. His detailing over people, lifestyle in the big city, culture and manner surrounding the people at the place is vivid. But my mind couldn’t remember all of those things, especially too many names.

So, those are the things that complicated my reading process. Yet, when I forced myself resuming the reading process, Dickens’ way of engaging me in mysteries concerning Pip’s secret wealth made me defeating the two factors. There were small scenes here and there, names I didn’t remember them all but my mind had been entirely following what went next and next.

The more the book was nearing its conclusion, the more I got so excited on what was going to happen to Pip. I gasped, took deep breaths, and even cursed when I was coming to the answers of the big questions along the reading process. I had never been this curious finding out what would be the end of the protagonist’s life given so many puzzles inviting me to ponder.

Reading “Great Expectations” is difficult, I must say. My mind and my heart worked at their hardest processing the story. The book is much tougher than “The Old Curiosity Shop” for many aspects.

Dickens is genius displaying emotional turmoil and pains that had been suffered by the characters in the book. Those then led them behaving, saying the way they were in it. Their traumas were so deep buried that I was in the first place wondering “are those people exist in real lives, like miss Havisham?”

As successful as Dickens made them making peace with themselves at the end of the book, I still had to experience my own kind of emotional drama as I was trying to imagine scenes concerning Pip and Joe and Provis. I was almost crying fancying they were in front of me at that time.

Dickens was playing so well at making me guessing, waiting what next to be unfolded. His secrets were spilled seamlessly one by one. I couldn’t imagine how he created the fiction because beneath all of the mysteries, there were lying serious and diverse issues concerning psychology, social class, poverty and self-acceptance.

I was very happy completing the book after so many months. For reading it made me feel satisfied despite the ending that wasn’t that happy for Pip. Well, forget about how the fiction sentenced joyful sentence for Pip for the process of self-growing throughout the book is much more important for him. And such is for myself that complete reading the fiction, digesting all of its rich contents is the thing that actually makes fictions, books very worthy of devoting my time.

So, thank you very much for Charles Dickens for this masterpiece that brings profound lessons in my heart I will carry them as immeasurable treasures.

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Off the Unread-List: The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

I am very glad that I finished reading The Professor last week. It is uneasy for me resuming reading the book after I abandoned it some weeks because, frankly speaking, I couldn’t bear of reading many sentences in the French language here and there.

To be exact, I find it very disturbing that I had to look at the Note section to find out what those words meant. So I skipped, I barely read the words. In consequence, I didn’t enjoy reading the book. Once the amount of French words began decreasing, I gained my enthusiasm reading the novel.

By still feeling inconvenient because of the French language, I managed to have digested the rest of the book. Compared to Jane Eyre, The Professor actually conveys much diverse topics. What I mostly love from the book is how Charlotte Bronte brings up education topic.

What looks like an accident for William Chrimsworth to be a professor turns out to be the major line that connects him with his future wife, Frances Henri. I find it very beautiful that their matrimony later brings them opening school, teaching pupils. William who is once underestimated by his own brother and Frances who gets her eyes tired of being a lace-mender, now become well-respected people thanks to their ideas of applying good education curriculum.

Charlotte Bronte’s way of bringing up stories about patience, endurance and faith, as I find in Jane Eyre, is seamlessly told here. I always admire Charlotte Bronte’s focus on the process of achieving dreams despite thorns that may sting the characters’ journeys.

Another thing that I like most of the story is the romance itself between William and Frances. Again, Charlotte Bronte emphasizes on simplicity, even in love, an emotion that for some people, may boost their feelings, put them in a rollercoaster-kind of mode.

Unattached by relatives (for William’s only friend is Hunsden while France’s only aunt passes away), the two souls eventually find company in each other’s arms, a home where which the sweetness of their love tale is materialized in actions, supports and motivations for attaining their dream; building a school.

Their romance is filled of by hardworking and persistence but there lies its kind of beauty in it.

The Professor offers me a unique view about friendship. Here, William’s fate is helped by some unlikely people in his life, in particular Hunsden, who dislikes his brother, Edward, yet sympathizes with William since his doomed days in Chrimsworth Hall.

Despite his satirical, witty traits that draw uneasiness upon Frances, Hunsden is always there for William. He offers helps, gives good advice which it’s true when he frequently asks for a ‘thank you’ in exchange for what he does, but I don’t think William pays him back in proper ways. So, probably, that is why Charlotte Bronte ends her story with Hunsden being in the last pages of the book featuring Victor, William’s son.

William doesn’t verbally thank his good buddy but the fact that they spend their old years living closely to one another is more than enough to emphasize how much Hunsden means to William’s life. Much like his deep love for Frances that isn’t translated into flowery words, so is his thankfulness for Hunsden. And I think that what makes The Professor a worthy of reading for gaining values on life, love and friendship the way they should be.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in the Eyes of a Non JK Rowling Fan

Foto oleh fantasticbeats.com

I haven’t read any books by JK Rowling by the time I promptly decided to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in Blok M area two weeks ago. The reason why I suddenly wished to watch the film was because I was disappointed with The Nutcracker and The Four Realms a few days before so I expected The Beasts would probably cure the letdown. In addition, I still longed to see another vintage-styled movie along with ancient buildings and streets and people in early 20th century. Hence, I didn’t really mind The Beasts presenting before me many CGIs and green screens here and there provided that it remained conveying vintage modes.

So, I headed to the theater then while enjoying the quite long movie I came out from the cinema saying to myself, “Ok, I should have known the backgrounds of every major character before watching the film because I ended up Googling who each of the character is after the movie ends.”

It isn’t sufficient to review the movie based on what I felt throughout the performance given many questions left unanswered as the movie was playing. Usually, I will find out what historical backgrounds behind the story or major characters as the movie closes. I can relate each and every puzzle by the end of the film. I can draw my own conclusions why this gets audiences to that scene and how everything falls into its place but I can’t wholly apply those things in The Beasts.

It took some times for me to grasp that the cores of the second installment were Credence Barebone and Leta Lestrange. While Credence quickly stole my attention at the beginning of the movie and the acting of Ezra Miller was really good, I didn’t predict that Leta would play essential role in the movie. She appeared casually when she encountered Newt Scamander.

As the movie was progressing, her development as someone so influential to reveal the identity of Credence wasn’t really smooth. I guessed that was because there were too many characters, that despite relatively ordinary roles they were playing, JK Rowling needed to bring them up in the screen. Hence, Leta’s growing impacts upon the movie was a little bit surprising for me because I wasn’t prepared for that. She wasn’t been given enough rooms to slowly stand out among other characters.

When she told the story on the complicated relationship regarding Credence I was still confused, or to be exact, I felt so stupid when the scene was taking place, LOL! By the time being, I still don’t understand what the connection between the two characters.

The peak of the film as some of the characters were drawing closer to Grindelwald didn’t go seamlessly as I hoped. I felt sorry that Johny Depp wasn’t that good in portraying the devilish character. I didn’t catch his charisma as a villain. As a consequence, the way he was persuading some characters, such as Credence or Queenie Goldstein as part of his comrades, felt flat.

Throughout the film, all I was waiting for was Newt, because as much as I don’t regard Eddie Redmayne a handsome actor, his reputation as a good actor is worthy of watching. I love his character in the movie, tough, despite ordinary role he was playing. His timid, introverted yet powerful character was captivating.

I must say I agree with the overall review of the movie from The Atlantic here in a way that JK Rowling’s ideas are too sophisticated to be put in this already lengthy movie (this is aside from the fact there will be a third installment). Yet for me, as a non-fantasy lover, enjoying every trick and spell of the movie is a good thing. Loving how sci-fi blends with old atmosphere in the film shows my mind starts open (I used to hate sci-fi fantasy films by the way). And yes, JK Rowling is a genius creator.

With those, I humbly say, the movie is enough to have entertained me.

Understanding His Way of Making Me Following What My Heart Says

When I was a senior high school student, my self-confidence was best tested after I was put in a Social Knowledge class because I got 6 for Math. I was very stupid at Math. I always hated the subject, frankly speaking. I yet hoped that I would be put in Science Knowledge class because that was very unfair that I was placed in the Social Knowledge class just because the score I got at the last term of the second grade of the senior high school.

The decision from the teachers had been made. And I had to come to terms with what my friends said about me being put in “low-caste class”. I even still remembered one of the teachers said, what was the use of being a Social Knowledge class student. Your future was uncertain already, she said. Your peers from the Science Knowledge class would fill up your destined subjects at universities, like Accounting and Economy.

I was filling my third year of the senior high school studying harder than I had ever been before. Part of the reasons for doing that was to prove myself capable of enrolling good university, another part was proving the teacher wrong. But deep down in my heart, and Alloh swt knew this very well, I was fortunate that I was one of the students belonging to Social Science classes. Since I was a very little kid, social sciences had captivated my attention as they have now been.

How lucky I was that Alloh swt later granted my wish of studying English Literature. I didn’t know what made me selecting the subject unless for a very odd, simple reason: because I have always loved the foreign language. I didn’t know what would be laying in front of me after graduating. I didn’t have any seniors to look up to in terms of career but I chose the subject anyway.

I was surrounded by amazing friends, lecturers and ecosystem that made me very blessed person in terms of academics. Studying at the English Literature was one of the best choices I had made. I met smart people in their own kind of ways. I couldn’t measure their intelligence because their thoughts were very new and unique for me. To explain this concretely, I had never thought that talking about books, films would be very serious. I used to think fictions, arts were trivial matters.

Yet, mingling with these people have taught me that art, imagination, ideas are not small things. Concepts, knowledge, observance, critics, emotions, to name some of them, are wrapped in one book, one novel, one film, one drama, you name it. Each and every art form carries within it cultural, social, religious, historical, and even psychological values.

Then, again, what would my future be like?

Like my motivation of choosing English Literature, I opted becoming a journalist right after I graduated from the university; because I love reading news and would love to be one seeking information.

Alloh swt, again, made my dream coming true by making me a journalist of an English-language daily in Jakarta. Despite the fact I survived less than three years at the company, I realized how people like me, those who love reading and writing, do find good places in the commercial world. And they are well-respected and well-paid.

Although I am not as bright as them, I was amazed how Alloh swt introducing me into the world I had never thought existed; jobs related to writing, creative writing in particular.

I took several jobs that probably won’t interest people if they bother asking because they are small companies, a few of them are even closed. Looking back at the very beginning of why I make decisions, I don’t regret them all. As silly as this sounds, I don’t pity myself because of the failures in the past because I am satisfied with all of things that I did at each and every firm I once worked at.

Not much money that are left in my bank account, honestly speaking. But as long as the jobs make me enhancing my reading and writing skills, hell, I am thankful already!

 

The Power of Being Under Pressured Completing Reading Pile of Unread Books

Have you got dozens of books unread for months, or even years at the bookshelves in your room? Or, have you felt there seemed to be no time for reading books anymore because, frankly speaking, you are busy scrolling down your social media accounts?

If you have that questions in your mind and wish to get rid of them all or one of them, probably you can try my trick. The key is a little bit ridiculous; buying more titles!

So.. I haven’t finished reading Great Expectations, Homo Deus and The Professor for a few months. Those don’t include Sejarah Islam or The History of Islam, which, oh my God, hasn’t been touched for months, too.

When I bought The Professor, I didn’t need the urgency of finishing reading Great Expectations because honestly, the masterpiece of Charles Dickens is too sentimental to cope with. Later, The Professor didn’t satisfy me that much because too many, way too many statements in French language that I needed to look at the back of the book. I abandoned the title, as well.

Then, I made another mistake. A few weeks ago, I and my pals went to an internationally-scale book affair in Jakarta. To put it shortly, I purchased Homo Deus, a currently-popular book among readers globally. Plus, I am interested at reading books on internet and social media hence the book suits me best. And yes, indeed, until I discovered it too much already when I read the first pages of the book. I have left it untouched for weeks now.

This week, I visited, again, Kinokuniya bookstore, with my best friend, Wida. I didn’t intend to buy novels or books at that time but as we were looking at titles, somehow my mind struck at The Woman In White. I have been looking for the book for months. I almost took it home but Wida reminded me that Dian, our close friend, had bought it for me from Paris. Dian would bring the book next month when she comes back home.

I was trying so hard not to buy it by switching my mind on reading other detective or mystery tales. My head quickly turned to Edgar Allan Poe as his The Tell-Tale Heart became his only fiction that I read so far.

I circled the Mystery/Horror section for some moments, till, yes! Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a collection of short stories by Mr. Poe was put in one of the section’s bookshelf. How happy I was! I bought the book right away, ignoring the fact some titles were crying to be resumed.

After I went back home, I opened the first title of the collective story. The Gold Bug opened the book and I couldn’t stop reading it. I began remembering how genius Mr. Poe was, yet somehow, I looked at The Professor. My guilt started embracing me.

I stopped reading The Gold Bug, reopened the last page where I read The Professor then two days later (today), the novel was finished. I am so glad at the moment because I fulfill the promise that I made months ago. The personal triumph surprisingly comes from the guilt that I feel after buying another book.

 

Sorry, Disney. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” Is A Mere Show of CGI and Costume

Mackenzie Foy as Clara Stahlbaum. Photo by comicbook.com

Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy) was turning over an internal part of a long-shaped musical box that had been taking her undergoing a thrilling adventure in the Fourth World. Her face turned positive as she found out the part was a small mirror reflecting back at her beautiful countenance. “Everything that you need is inside,” her mother, the late Marie Stahlabaum said to her. It was her mother’s words that were carrying Clara following her curiosity looking for a key to unlock the box.

Little did Clara know that her initial motive would lead her into something frightening, intriguing yet liberating. She quickly caught the point of the words; it was all herself that she needed to conquer Sugar Plum Fairy, a devilish regent of the Land of Sweets.

As much as Clara was expecting the answer of “what is inside the box” as the movie started, I, too was waiting for the thing the Queen Marie brought up. While Clara was relieved that she finally found her strength, and that she was her only resource to defeat the Sugar Plum, I was disappointed.

It wasn’t about the mirror. It was more on the acting and the expression of Mackenzie Foy that, in my humble opinion, was flat. That scene was supposed to be the essence of the overall movie yet the way she was telling audiences about that was just that.

 

Throughout the entire film, I was hoping the actress’s way of delivering the emotion of Clara as a teenage girl; a shy, clever yet rebellious person, would wow me. Sometimes, Clara did make it, such as when she was conversing with her father at the beginning of the movie. Her sadness and misunderstanding over her father’s apparent ignorance over her mother’s death was smoothly felt. Mackenzie did well on this part.

But when she was entering the parts that faced her with Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum or the Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), I can clearly tell the difference aside from the different roles each of them was playing.

In addition, the peak battle scene between the toys made by the Sugar Plum and the rats of the Mother Ginger didn’t run as epic as I initially expected. In fact, it didn’t frighten me as much as when Clara was attacked by the king of rats early in the movie.

I was completely stunned looking at this scene given the very colorful, contrast view that makes the film a very modern, artsy one. Picture by disney.com.au

Thankfully, thankfully, despite the overall disappointing performance from the leading actress, I loved the transition of Mother Ginger and the Sugar Plum. The way the director switched the perceptions of the two characters successfully surprised me. I didn’t expect the story would turn out at the very right moment with no clues at all. I salute the acts of Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren for this very swift transition.

As a die-hard fan of the Victorian era, I admit I was fully, completely entertained by the CGI, costume and settings of the movie. The scenes were wonderfully crafted to have resembled those in the era, at least as I watched so far in movies or imagined from Victorian-based novels.

I admire the editing team of the movie for the making the film is such a pure, beautiful art to enjoy. The castle, the forest, the streets both in London and the four realms were made in great details. And of course, the nutcracker itself with his peculiar costume that marks the identity of the fiction. Not to forget kudos for the team that managed the costumes and the accessories of the casts. And definitely the fantastic ballet dance!

Some minus points there yet a few positives here from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. I hope my next anticipated movie, Mary Poppins Returns, will do me better than this one.

Menjaga Kewarasan di Era Digital

Awal pekan ini saya mendapat undangan mengetes ponsel cerdas salah satu produsen ternama dunia. Saya dan rekan media lainnya diajak menginap di salah satu hotel di daerah Puncak, Bogor, untuk berburu foto memaksimalkan fitur unggulan kamera pada produk tersebut.

Beberapa saat menjelang keberangkatan, saya melihat kembali urutan acara selama dua hari tersebut. Di salah satu lokasi foto hati saya langsung kepincut dengan DeVoyage, wahana wisata baru di Bogor. Pada lembar daftar acara tersebut, pihak agensi menyertakan beberapa foto obyek wisata ini yang “saya banget”.

Aneka rumah model klasik berwarna-warna a la Eropa yang selalu memikat saya. Sudah dari dulu saya mempunyai mimpi jalan-jalan ke Benua Biru demi memuaskan hasrat saya memandangi bangunan tua, kastil atau kanal. Berhubung hingga sekarang saya nggak punya duit buat ke Italia atau Inggris, cukup lah ya pergi ke Lembang sekadar membayangkan berada di sana seperti di Eropa. Berhubung Lembang cukup jauh dari Jakarta, baru tahu sekarang ada DeVoyage. Lumayan lah ya, di Bogor saja. Tidak sejauh jika saya harus ke Lembang.

Ketika sampai di sana mata saya langsung jelalatan melihat dari jarak agak jauh, warna-warni bangunan khas Eropa sudah menyambut. Begitu masuk ke dalam, tangan sudah gatal mau berswafoto atau meminta tolong ke teman untuk memfoto diri saya. Tempat paling saya sukai tentu saja rumah mungil klasik yang cantik. Sudah terbayang deretan kata bijak sebagai caption-nya.

Tetapi saya malu pas saya hendak meminta tolong ke teman sesama jurnalis. Mereka cekrak cekrek tanpa wajah sendiri sebagai sang model utama. Entah untuk keperluan pribadi atau untuk bisa memenangkan lomba foto (sebab saat itu kami ditantang untuk saling berkompetisi sehat), yang pasti tidak ada satu pun yang narsis rebutan spot untuk berfoto. Dari situ saya jadi mengurungkan niat lalu fokus ke pekerjaan saya.

Di sela memotret dua model yang menjadi subyek bidikan kamera, saya menyaksikan obyek ini ramai dikunjungi pencinta foto. Kebanyakan sih kalangan perempuan, baik ibu atau nenek. Riuh rendah mereka girang berfoto, bergaya sendirian hingga berkelompok.

Sedangkan kami? Hmm.. ada yang masih fokus memotret para model, ada yang sudah terlihat sibuk dengan gadget masing-masing. Saya yang tadinya masih berhasrat berfoto akhirnya makin kehilangan minat. Akhirnya saya paksakan diri meminta tolong ke teman untuk memfoto saya. Itu pun cuman di satu tempat dengan niat untuk meninggalkan jejak saja.

Entah bersyukur atau tidak bersyukur saat itu saya berada di rombongan yang kurang suka berfoto diri, yang pasti saya belajar banyak hal hanya dalam beberapa jam di situ.

Tempat yang ketika masuk terlihat wow seiring berjalannya jam menjadi tak sekuat menarik saya untuk menikmatinya. Kemudian, saya jadi teringat dengan badan saya yang mulai kelelahan, dehidrasi dan masalah pribadi yang saya coba paksa kesampingkan saat itu.

Lalu, jimat saya buat move on itu perlahan muncul, “Ah nikmat duniawi..” Kalau sudah muncul kata-kata itu artinya saya harus mawas diri agar tidak terlalu terlena dalam hiburan ini.

Buat saya, tidak membagikan hasil foto jepret pribadi saya ke media sosial menjadi prestasi tersendiri. Belakangan, butuh usaha agak ekstra untuk tidak membagikan foto saya saat bepergian lengkap dengan caption semi curahan hati di media sosial. Alhamdulillah, saya sudah mulai jarang sekali menulis status di Facebook, tidak seperti dulu. Hanya untuk Instagram saya masih berusaha mengeremnya.

Mengapa?

Bagi yang memang berkepribadian terbuka dan ramai, membagikan status pribadi atau keluh kesah di ranah publik bukanlah hal yang aneh. Hanya buat saya yang setidaknya berusaha tertutup untuk urusan pribadi, terlalu sering menceritakan perasaan di media sosial membuat saya merasa aneh pada diri saya sendiri. Dulu saya nggak begini deh, kurang lebih seperti itu.

Alasan kedua terkait dengan pengalaman saya balik lagi ke dunia media, yang sekarang bergelut di teknologi dan gaya hidup digital, termasuk media sosial. Cukup mengerikan bagaimana aksi korporasi para raksasa Silicon Valley merancang bisnis mereka. Terlalu naif menyebut misi mulia Facebook masih ingin menghubungkan kita dengan teman, menjalinkan tali silaturahmi dan sebagainya.

Kenyataannya, Facebook semakin mempercanggih algoritmanya, membaca perilaku kita. Setiap kali kita melakukan aktivitas apa pun, kesemuanya terekam dalam mesin mereka. Belum lagi, Facebook mengembangkan aplikasi serupa Tik-Tok yang memfasilitasi remaja berkaraoke ria. Intinya sih satu, semakin banyak dan semakin lama orang berada di Facebook dengan tujuan melanggengkan bisnis mereka. Saya ingin berbagi di sini bahwa harta yang paling mereka incar dan harus kita jaga adalah data pribadi kita, cerita kita, emosi kita. Jika itu pun sudah tak lagi kita lindungi dan diketahui semua oleh mereka, apalagi yang tersisa?

Google, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube.. semuanya mengambil langkah korporasi yang kurang lebih sama. Membuat sebanyak mungkin orang “terhibur” dengan fitur ini dan itu, stiker yang ini kemudian yang itu, update dan terus update. Kita lama-lama serupa anak kecil yang secara tidak sadar meminta hiburan baru dan baru. Senantiasa tidak puas dengan yang sudah ada. Celakanya banyak yang terlambat menyadarinya. Hiburan yang dulu berfungsi membantu orang melepaskan penat dari bekerja seharian kini berbalik, orang membutuhkan hiburan, bahkan saat sebenarnya mereka tidak memerlukannya.

Beberapa bulan yang lalu, saya meliput konferensi pers rilis kompetisi game tingkat pelajar. Baru saya sadar esport menjadi salah satu mata pelajaran ekstrakurikuler sebuah SMU di Jakarta. Jujur, saya tercengung. Tidak dipungkiri esport menjanjikan karir yang gemilang bagi yang serius menekuninya. Tetapi menjadikannya sebagai kurikulum?

Tidak hanya bagi pelajar, saya juga pernah meliput rilis kompetisi game yang sudah seperti liga sepakbola musiman. Hadiahnya menggiurkan. Status pemain pun sudah berlabel profesional. Jika kamu tidak bisa bermain, kamu masih bisa ambil bagian dengan menjadi komentator, analis atau pengamat.

Menjadi influencer atau selebgram dengan ribuan atau jutaan followers bisa membuka ladang pekerjaan tersendiri. Awalnya, saya suka mengelik selebgram yang kerap jadi model makeup atau baju, cuma lama-kelamaan jadi mikir, ya kali pulsa saya habis cuman buat melihat baju yang nggak mungkin saya beli karena mahal. Terus, apa hidup hanya sebatas berbagi tips makeup atau jajanan yang sedang hits?

Belum lagi, jika melihat akun dengan tebaran foto-foto mengagumkan pergi ke suatu tempat yang Instagrammable. Ke gunung, ke pantai, ke laut atau ke kafe yang penuh kalimat berbunga-bunga buat difoto. Jika sedang khilaf timbul hasrat ingin ke tempat tersebut (pernah loh saya melakukan ini demi eksistensi di Instagram). Untungnya sekarang sudah mulai berhembus mantra lain, “Kapan aku nabung kalau tiap ada duit berlebih hanya mau mengikuti hawa nafsu atas nama kekinian?”

Saya tidak menentang media sosial atau perkembangan teknologi. Saya sekarang hidup dari situ. Hanya bagi orang yang sudah beranjak tua seperti saya, tren saat ini sudah kadang di luar nalar. Ada yang rela naik gedung tinggi tanpa pengaman demi selfie atau mencoba aneka rupa makanan demi klik, viewers atau jumlah komentar, entah sadar makanan itu baik bagi badannya atau tidak.

Sudah tersedia banyak platform untuk mengekspresikan diri, hiburan menjadi lahan bisnis menguntungkan hingga kuantitas menjadi standar ukuran kesuksesan. Belum lagi, perusahaan IT global memang membuat manusia susah sekali untuk lepas dari ponsel cerdas.

Kalau susah mengendalikan diri, perkembangan teknologi bisa membuat kita, setidaknya saya, menjadi gila. Yang bisa menolong kita mengerem ya hanya Alloh swt dan Alqur’an. Banyak berpegang pada-Nya solusi akhir yang saya coba terapkan..