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My media habits make me dumber

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OPINION: I am completely useless at small talk, but here's the thing: it wasn't always so. Something's happened over the past decade to transform me from garrulous chatterbox and fearless dropper of tidbits and well-aimed one-liners – a veritable social butterfly – into a stammering, self-conscious slug.

This realisation dawned on me a week or so back at a party, when an animated conversation erupted about something called MAFS, which I initially took to be the government agency with oversight for agriculture and fisheries. It turns out it's a reality show everyone seems to hate-watch en masse – although I suspect you know exactly what it is.

This is not a humblebrag, a roundabout way to parade my comparatively virtuous media habits. No, in fact, the MAFS conversation gave me severe FOMO; made me feel left out of a cultural moment of sorts, no matter how low-brow. This happens all the time, I realised. I have next to no idea what's going on. (I'm not completely divorced from the zeitgeist: I watch Game of Thrones religiously – once a week, with minimal comprehension.)

Now, part of this is just me getting old, like the fact I can't these days noiselessly extract myself from low-slung........

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