WHO DECIDES WHAT WE TALK ABOUT? IS THAT AN IMPORTANT QUESTION? YOU BET! MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THEN “WHAT SHALL WE EAT TODAY?”
What shall we talk about today? Who or what decides that question?
Often we talk about what others are talking about. And others are talking about what MEDIA are talking about, the so called “news”.
We post a link, thus repeating or replicating something that might have absolutely nothing to do with US, our thoughts, feelings and dreams.
This can be intentional hide-and-seek, keeping up a facade, or it can be unintentional, unconscious killing of time.
But it is more than that. It reinforces the status quo, current thought patterns, feeling patterns and World Patterns. It keeps the world the same.
It freezes life.
A world that sorely would need to change, improve and move forward is “kept in place” by all this imitative repetition. How many of us are looking in a brand new direction, pointing towards a new star, saying something nobody has said or has dared to say? Something that comes from within, dictated by inner impulse and not from other people or media?
Life is like a CD player in Repeat mode; the identical song is playing over and over. The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? The same procedure as every year, James.
We have even been taught to see this is something positive! We say something has “gone viral” — a supposedly good thing. We might as well say “it has gone cancerous”.
TALK. How important it can be. And how different, depending on the channel.
We sometimes say “talk is cheap”. But it can also be both expensive, difficult and frustratingly muddled.
IRL is the best channel if you ask me. Face to face, there is so much more substance and “reality” in our interaction, conversation, chat. Much more real broadband (all senses being online.) Our “likes” (= a smile, hug, kind word and willing ear) are worth so much more than any digital, anonymous “like”.
But sometimes one has to settle for second best. What would that be?
Old fashioned telephony can be okay. Less radiation, less poor reception, etc.
Skype with video is not bad at all. I would give the silver medal to Skype.
What comes next? And bear in mind that I am now thinking of the therapeutic effects of talk, interchange and conversation. Too little two-way talk, and one becomes a “wall-climber”. (No, that’s not a fly on the wall, that’s me.)
Enter “social media”. They are supposedly about “talk” and conversation and exchange and “sharing”. Yes, but they don’t even reach third place with me. Why not?
Because here talk 1) has become commercialized (somebody is indirectly making money out of the the fact that we want, enjoy, and need to exchange thoughts and feelings with each other), 2) is peppered with ads, and 3) is intercepted (the digital “room” is bugged).
Imagine having a heart to heart talk with a friend at your favorite coffee house and suddenly they put microphones on each table. “We want to make this place more happening, more SOCIAL!”
I don’t know about you but my conversation would freeze and lose most of it’s spontaneity.
This stops me from having enjoyable conversations on for example Facebook. Zuckerberg is the sixth richest person on earth (thanks to us), the ads are there, the interception is there.
No, “social media” are much too far removed from the coffee house.
And yet, we would need some better, good alternatives when the best ones are not available. Something 1) non-commercial (of course one could pay a certain price for it, just as we buy a latte at Wayne’s Coffee even if we just want to sit and talk), 2) lacking ads, and 3) lacking snooping.
The entrepreneur, inventor, thinker who comes up with a Great Idea here is worth a million “likes”. At least!
Aren’t we getting much too predictable with our praise nowadays?
We click a Like button, and that’s it. Facebook has expanded the repertoire enormously to six (6) symbols: Like, love, haha [springtime for humor], wow, sad, angry.
Now thats rich! Not.
How can we get out of this boring rut, dictated by Messrs Zuckerberg & Co? Here are some suggestions. Instead of clicking Like:
Be radical! Send flowers!
Write a few well thought out words: “I really like that. And by the way, I really like YOU a lot. Did I ever tell you that in plain language? If not, now’s the time!”
Share, repost or re-tweet what you liked to 30 of your friends or contacts, with the comment “Fantastic, you just have to check this out, folks!”
Send chocolate. True, it takes a bit longer to arrive than a Facebook Like, but who is in a hurry? If you are, send it right away.
If the person is close by, go and give him/her a hug and a kiss. Now we are talking real broadband…
Send a loving SMS. It’s not much but it’s more than a like.
Phone the person up. Use your voice, not just your fingers, to convey how much you like whatever it is you like. Hearing a voice is already a gift in a world that has gotten used to primitive messages that have to be read head sideways.
Invite the person to dinner, coffee and chat or the movies. The world could end tomorrow, so you might as well make the best and happiest of it.
MANKIND HAS REAL PROBLEMS TO SOLVE. ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, THE DEGRADATION OF AIR, WATER AND FOOD, POVERTY, CORRUPTION, WARS AND CONFLICTS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. AND ON TOP OF IT, AS A GIANT DOLLOP OF WHIPPED CREAM, THE TRIVIALIZING AND STUPIDIFYING EFFECTS OF MEDIA (MASS, ANALOG DIGITAL, SOCIAL). BUT REALLY — NOTHING IS SO BAD THAT IT CAN’T BE MADE A LITTLE WORSE?
Some things in our lives are SO unnecessary. Like fighting between ourselves. But then this impulse seem to be ingrained in us, as if coming with mother’s milk. And it doesn’t have to be fight with fists, it is enough with “wits”.
However, I do not find the fight between two kinds of believers witty or funny. Tragic and regrettable, rather.
First we have the folks who Believe. In God, spirits, flying saucers, new age stuff, conspiracies, chemtrails, and so on.
Then we have the folks who Believe they Know. But they don’t call themselves that: they just say We Who Know.
I am not here to start another fight, that’s exactly what we have too many of already. But I would like to say to the folks Who Know, actually to everybody: Really, honestly, how much do we actually KNOW, and how much do we exclude just because they don’t fit in with the current Rules and Truths of our self-created Science?
Most people admit that with some questions we don’t know what IS. For example what is life, what is electricity, what is gravity, etc.
That’s a nice touch of humbleness, to say “I don’t know that”.
However, often these very same folks DO know what ISN’T. For sure. Absolutely! They “know” that there is no such things as God (sometimes they write long books to prove it), that crop circles and chemtrails are just myths, they KNOW that astrology, homeopathy is bogus, etc.
These I call the second kind of believers. Not so much motivated by a desire to discover, reveal and SEE, but more by a desire to slap the hand of the other kind of believer, by a desire to seem wiser, more knowledgeable, in one word BETTER than the other fellow. Oh, what a wonderful and warm feeling when we can say “I am right, and you are wrong!”
I am sure we all have this tendency. It is my humble wish that we would all try to keep this tendency in check and not let our potential arrogance get the better of us, so that we don’t get stuck in the position of Looking Down At.
Sure, the first kind of believer (who simply believes) can be very naive and blue-eyed, too Yin. But the second kind easily becomes too hard and harsh. And final. Even terminal.
These believers call themselves “sceptics” and question everything (except themselves?). They want to close down questions, almost forbid them. Sounds like the Inquisition to me.
They perhaps forget that science is a mobile thing, that yesterdays scientific truth is no longer valid. Which probably means that today’s scientific truth is soon going to be invalid as well. So where is the ground for being cock-sure, for berating and lecturing other kind of believers? I don’t see it.
I see unbalanced naivety and unbalanced arrogance. I see too much Yin and too much Yang. And I see us all dance in a ring.
Let me end this text by giving the word to a “softie”, the poet Robert Frost.
We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
So let us stop fighting between ourselves. We have real problems, let’s not add to them by the childish impulse Win The Argument and Nominate Idiots.
We are all idiots, but some of us look at the stars. Let’s peace*, not fight.
*Isn’t it interesting that we don’t have a word (a verb) for doing peace, when we have so many words for doing fight and war?