I don’t know what to write about today. I just know that I want to write. It is just one of those mornings when I don’t feel inspired by any of my activities. Maybe it’s just the college and elementary school schedules settling in, slowly incubating into mundane, daily events— the quotidian. Although, as Richard Dawkins once pointed out, “mundane” derives from the Latin “mundus,” meaning of the world or world (apparently, is also used for “clean” in the language), and the process of being a part of the world is anything but mundane.
Thus my discomfort. How could I feel uninspired while the whole sha-bang-a-bang is swirling around me. People getting married, new discoveries, and interesting art to create can all direct anybody, at anytime, to oceans of inspiration. Could be it’s just today. Maybe I am tired, or something. Or maybe all the inspiration is being channeled into the setting up of daily routines that will define my learning and creative spaces over the next few months. That would be a comforting thought. I am feeling this way because I am inspired to set myself up for an amazing few months. Seems a little far-fetched, but anything is possible, I suppose.
There is something inside of me that is deeply disappointed with my own behavior. “Disappointed” is the wrong word. I haven’t wrapped my brain around this completely, but there is an element to socialization that I am shying away from. That being social media, and a few people I only really interact with on there.
Okay, okay, more than a few.
Something has changed in me when I perceive social media these days. I see happy news, or perhaps some piece of beauty, and I don’t feel happy or have the ability to take stock of the beauty being shared. It’s almost like, whatever is being shared loses value by being on the screen. I have tried to engage with a few folks, but even that feels contrived and near worthless. Maybe my heart is lonely. Images of happiness aren’t as effective, and like the body’s response to any opiate, my tolerance for processed joy has grown too high.
The pictures of my friends kids have grown boring.
I don’t even like Jeeps. “I guess your new one looks neat.”
Um, sure, tomato-basil-parmasan-eggplant ice cream on your tofu steak is amazing looking in low light from your not-a-camera picture-taking device.
If anybody was being honest with you, it looks sloppy and disgusting, and you know your stomach is going to hurt from that over-spiced chunk of processed plant just like you ate at Olive Garden, so let’s not pretend that your greased up tofu is “healthy” or “amazing.” What is amazing is that you still ate it after getting pictures, an extra moment to analyze what horrors you are about to unleash into your digestive tract.
Especially, after some zero calorie monstrosity of the energy drink you drank this morning, that you also posted on FB.
I don’t know.
I mean, what I do know is that I sound like a grump. But I don’t feel grumpy. How do I put this?
I don’t mind people sharing articles and memes on social media, and I genuinely love that people who couldn’t normally stay in touch, are now able to through this amazing tool. But. Every time you take the time to share a part of your life with the world, you lose that time sharing it with yourself. If you prepared this great meal that you are proud of, why did you take the few minutes to get the best picture, tag the person you were with, write a caption, pin the location, run a few Instagram filters, and then wait for it all to post?
There seems to be a “missing of the point” in this behavior. Recently, I saw a selfie of a beautiful woman at the pool with her boyfriend. I thought, how lonely are we that being with the person we love, or claim to love, we still feel the need to stop being there in that moment and try to reach out to even more people.
The eyes and opinions of thousands of strangers are needed to sate our, dare I say, addiction to feel connected? I am not saying it is unhealthy. There isn’t overwhelming data at this point on the subject. Yet, the next time you Marco Polo or Tweet, I would ask, “is this no more than a simple attention craving? Could I give myself some attention by being here in the moment, with myself, to fill that need.”
I hope that motive seems less grumpy and more compassionate. I recognize that I am a little lonely right now, but I also recognize that I should fill that need with life, not social media.
So, discover something today, and let it fill your life, not a news feed. It may seem boring at first, but like “mundus,” the world inside each of our minds is anything but mundane.