Keeping your sanity in a world plagued with chaos is a challenge. People are angry as fuck and one more slight inconvenience might be enough to make them erupt.
I’ve never seen people this angry before in my entire life. It’s like they’re constantly road raging, even when they’re just sitting around doing nothing. It’s bizarre and terrifying.
The hyper-connectivity of social media has awarded us the ability to stay closer to our friends and family. It has practically nullified the need to have high school reunions, to make long distance phone calls or to leave your house and actually go visit someone.
I think social media and networking is fantastic, I really do, but it comes at a price.
Constantly being in your own mind can be a dangerous thing. That danger can be intensified when you’re also in the mind of other people.
You see, when we’re on social media, people tend to showcase their true thoughts. The filters that “polite society” once enjoyed are not so commonplace anymore.
Once upon a time people pondered “oh, I wonder what that person really thinks?” Today, ’tis no mystery. You’ll know exactly what other people are thinking once you get on Facebook.
The social media craze has led to an influx of political awareness, debate, and exposure to massive amounts of information (and misinformation) that quite frankly most people in the world simply were not used to before.
Awareness, discussion, debate and education are great things, don’t get me wrong. But having so much avalanche at you at once can be a bit overwhelming, and it’s causing people to go absolutely mad.
One of the founders of Facebook unleashed a diatribe against his own creation. He warned people that social media can be psychologically devastating.
He’s right, I believe it can be.
So what’s the solution? To shut social media down and descend back into the thoughtless lemmings most of us were before the craze?
Being apolitical and nihilistic may seem like a comforting thought to some people, hell, it’s a soothing thought to me sometimes as well. It’s not the right way to go, however.
We all have political opinions; there are people in power discussing and voting on your liberties right now. Being political is part of being a member of society, it’s part of being an adult human. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We can’t just unplug and tune out completely.
We live in a world wrought with peril, war, death, disease, oppression, injustice, brutality and in some places a total suffocation of basic human rights. There are atrocities happening on a geopolitical scale that cannot be ignored. We also, according to Steve Pinker, live in a time with the greatest amount of positive possibility ever.
We have to do something, though. We have to find some level of balance that keeps us in harmony with political involvement and maintaining mental clarity.
If you overload the mind, it will turn on itself quickly.
The key is balance. Meditate, learn a martial art, write, compose music, exercise, leave the house, turn off the phone once in a while and experience the people in your life organically and in reality. Whatever your passion is that brings you clarity, calmness and satisfaction.. do more of that and less of whatever is making you crazy.
We will be no good to ourselves, to progress, to affirmative change, or anyone or anything if we collapse under the weight of our own rage.