I’m up again, sweating through the sheets, unable to sleep. This time thanks to a large group fist fighting out in the street at 3 a.m. They, of course, disappeared into the row houses across the way at so much as a sniff of law enforcement’s arrival. So it goes.  They’re back out there now, all of 4:11 a.m., keeping the party going, and keeping me awake.

What can I say? I’ve been there, years ago. At least they’re spending time in the real world. And it’s not like I have to go to work in a few hours anyway. In fact, I’ve barely earned a couple thousand dollars in as many months. You can guess the reasons why, and I have no doubt you would not like my opinion on the subject.

That’s fine. I’m not trying to convince anyone anymore. People’s positions are about what they feel is good for them, ultimately. Myself included. Some try to misrepresent that. I guess if I had to separate myself from them in any way it is that I do not take positions that give me control over other people. I do not want them. I do not trust people who do.

Lately it seems my entire life is at the mercy of others for almost everything, including sleep. One of the hardest things about life is you have to know what to do when you don’t know what to do. Figure it out. Take a deep breath. Maybe take advice from people who share neither your individual vision nor your perspective. They think they know you better than you know yourself either way. In the case of tech companies, they may be right.

We live in an internet junk food culture. It provides almost no spiritual nutrition, but man does it taste good, soundbite after soundbite. We’ve become social media junkies looking for one more hit of the digital dopamine that has replaced so much actual enjoyment of life.

There’s an entire planet’s worth of despair clawing its way into your neurons every moment of the day now. That’s a difficult thing to turn away from. We were not made for reality at scale, not to mention reality for sale. We’ve become social media actors playing parts on a coded stage, relaying coded messages into a coded abyss, hoping for an answer. It’s a huge time suck, and it makes time suck in ways no one could have anticipated.

Whatever purpose we can juice out of this lifestyle is hardly worth the squeeze much of the time. We squeeze anyway, mostly because it’s the only way to hold on and keep from spinning off the planet.

I know other people must feel this way, too. Misunderstood. Misrepresented. Misled. Perhaps mistaken. It’s a desperate and superficial facade, like bright-colored paint slapped onto a building whose foundation is cracked and rotting away. No one knows where this digital delusion will take us in the end, but we know it will gather some folks plenty of clout along the journey.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this. And, to be clear, I’m the first to admit my thinking can go way off kilter from time to time. It has started to close me off to others in ways I rarely speak out loud anymore.I don’t know how to circumnavigate that, either, so I’m no longer trying, really.

The lifelong process of enlightenment is seeing things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Take the world as it is, because it will take you either way, in the end.

Or take it on by the horns if you dare. Just be prepared to get gored from time to time.

Posted by Michael Pool

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