Monday, June 29, 2009

This is a Great Time to be Alive, Unfortunately

I had the realization that we're living life way to fast. We are accessible 24 hours a day on our cell phones and just seconds away from all the knowledge in the universe. By the time a person reaches the age of 50, they have probably seen and done 10 times as much as someone the same age from just 30 years ago.

Think about it, if you want to get together with 4 friends for dinner, all you do is text or e-mail them 30 minutes beforehand. If you don't know how to get to the restaurant you just type the address into your GPS.

Thirty years ago you would have to plan a meeting like that days in advance. You would call your friends on their home phone. If they weren't there you would have to keep calling until they answered. They would check their schedule and have to get back to you. You would have to wait for them to call you back. If you didn't know how to get to the restaurant you would have to look up it's number in the phone book, call, and ask for directions. If they gave you bad directions and you got lost you would have to stop and ask someone for directions.

Flash back 30 more years and the same situation would take even longer. It's pretty crazy to think about.

Are we any smarter because of this? No, unfortunately our new instant access world wide communication abilities have just turned us into a bunch of self absorbed narcissistic attention whores. I mean, you're reading my blog right now. I'm sitting in my boxer shorts typing this in an attempt to get attention. I actually believe people give a shit about what I have to say. And the best part about this is, you have the ability to comment about what I have to say, as if I gave a shit about what you have to say. It's a vicious circle of selfish egotism.

I know nobody cares about what I have to say. I'm a self aware narcissist, and yet I can't seem to stop myself from being sucked into the belly of the beast. I don't think a lot of people are aware of their own "issues" or problems. It doesn't seem that way at least. Maybe they are and they just don't want to deal with them. Fair enough I suppose.

I'm all to aware of each and every one of my flaws, and there are a lot. I even try to fix them from time to time. Not very successfully, but I do try.

My point, I guess, is that even though we are living faster, learning more, and experiencing tons of things, we as a people aren't any better off for it. I'm not very smart. I want to be, but I'm not. I'm sitting in front of this magical infinite knowledge machine, and yet all I choose to do with it is look up info on video games and porn. I could read every volume of the encyclopedia, learn to fix an engine, or figure out what creates a black hole, but instead I'm reading about the new iPhone.

I suppose a person is shackled to their interests. I love movies, video games, and comedy. In turn that is what defines my internet searches. You may love horses and back surgery, and that determines what you search. I'm not sure why we pigeon hole ourselves into such narrow minded life paths. Maybe it's because we have been conditioned to need labels placed on things in order to understand them. It's easier to say that a song is "country", than saying it's a blue grassy, jazz infused, northern Ireland inspired, bass heavy, rhythmic exploration. We need generalized boxes in which to put our lives. Unfortunate this leads to us putting ourselves into those very boxes.

I get so angry when I'm out with people that won't try different food. They have three things they eat and turn their noses up at anything different. I'm not sure when it happened to me, but I know there was a time when I was the same way. One day I opened my mind and tried something new. It was amazing and now I have eaten so many delicious things from every corner of the globe. It opens your eyes to culture and diversity. That's not to say I have liked everything I've eaten, but at least I've tried. Saying "No" really limits your life even with something so seemingly trivial as food.

OK I'm rounding home now. Bottom line, we have the chance to open our minds. This is a glorious time to be alive as far as knowledge goes. I'm going to try to read a web page everyday that is out of my narrow cone of interests. I want to broaden my knowledge and my perspective and I'm politely asking you to follow me.

Just because we have the abilty to be more awesome, doesn't mean we are.

1 comment:

dicky said...

We need and adventure... I hate post show times. And, I have it double right now. Miss you already Nick..