Death By Internet

Humans have always been

Social

Like

Um

Humans have always

Needed

Water to live.

But maybe humans

are doing

too much

social

And it’s

Killing ’em

Like

Too much

Water

Is a little

Um

Detrimental.

Soul Bait

They dangle it
From up high.
Through the rippling
Surface,
You may see the sun
And think this
Easy manna from
Above.

But
Beware beautiful
Brave soul
For attached to
The prize
Is a hook
And attached to the hook
May soon be you.

In our modern existence
We carelessly tag this
Click bait
As may fish
If they could verbalise
Call it bite bait
The reality for fish
Is that it is their
Life
Which the angler seeks.

And for us,
Twenty-first
Century
Boys and girls,
We should know
That they who send
Down the treats
Seek to impale
Our essence.
Our very souls.

We Become Automata

I’ve been ill. I’ve had a lingering ailment for a couple of weeks and at the weekend it developed into a full-blown flu/virus type thing. So off went the computers, the office door was firmly closed and I took to bed accompanied by some of my favourite books, ancient Indian philosophy, a George Harrison autobiography, and even a small Kant primer. It was an enjoyable time and I wished that I would do this more often, without needing to be ill.

Something about being away from social media has given me the space to think about this modern phenomenon a little more clearly than when I’m deeply entwined in its sticky tentacles. Thus I have given it some thought, and I now have a conclusion. It’s this: social media is dangerous for the intellect and the soul. The reasons are probably manifold, but in my brief analysis I have highlighted three. 1. the brevity which is a feature of SM discourages complex meditative thought. This can develop into a habit (even amongst the educated and intelligent) which one takes into everyday life. 2. It is of a highly distracting nature such that even if one is pursuing an an activity which requires/leads to deep thought and meditative insight, one can be disturbed by the knowledge that a device is within reach offering all the dubious joys of SM interaction. 3. It appeals to one of the negative aspects of human nature; it is often said that one of the highest human behaviours is giving without expectation of reward. Social media is predicated upon an appeal to the very opposite instinct in us – the need for reward. Our actions on SM are judged (by ourselves and others) by the number of  likes, comments and views. This also is corrosive if it becomes ingrained in our behaviour.

However, as with most things dualism is at play here. It would be as disingenuous of me to state that SM is all bad as it would be for a tech evangelist to say that it is all good. It is neither. It is both good and bad. It is useful – for example I find Facebook and Twitter essential for keeping in touch with old friends and to be introduced to new ideas. Nevertheless, the three deadly attributes of SM described above cause it to be a  dangerous tool and should be treated with caution. It is also true that SM success can lead to recognition, fame and perhaps power but these are hardly core attributes of citizens of utopia. The societal outcome of SM is that instead of the enlightened humanity that we thought might be a feature of the future, we become automata: addicted, reacting, programmed. No longer able to devise and consider lofty ideals, we spend our time in the lower regions of conflict, greed and reaction, without necessarily knowing why.

The new generation who are being raised and socialised on SM will either recognise this and find a way to counter its harmful effects, or, with no knowledge of alternative ways of being, and with spiritual and ethical guidance in short supply, they will become slaves to the algorithm; automata.

We become automata.

Kitty Said

(for Kitty Sterling)

Kitty said
Leonard said
That thing about
Cracks and light
Getting in.

Kitty said
That modern society’s problem
Is that the cracks
Have been filled in
And papered over
In the name of
Convenience
And Progress

Zombie Screen Face

I’m going to sound like a proper Luddite – or maybe because it’s because I live in a part of the country that appears not to be considered in such initiatives – but I’m going to rail against free wifi. Free wifi on trains is great for busy commercialists who need to get things done super-pronto, but for your average commuter is it really necessary? It’ll just encourage us to read more news/propaganda, buy more crap/consume and stop us thinking about the big issues that matter today.

Personally I love the dead time, the non-net time. It encourages us to read real books and do real stuff instead of pulling that zombie screen face the whole time.

I think I said it better here: https://revolutionfrommybed.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/anti-quantic/ and here: https://revolutionfrommybed.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/dont-go-digital/

#SwitchOff