I took a step away from Vlogging and Blogging a couple of months ago. It was taking over my life, everything else that I enjoy doing fell by the wayside and I was getting progressively less and less happy. I thought about coming back with a Vlog, but why not a blog? If people want to know about whats going on with Lewis Kirk at Fragments they will read it, if not they will just scroll on by……
We have to be careful what we wish for, because it may not take the shape or form that we imagined. The reality may be very different from our perception of what it would be like. This is where I came to with my Vlog on youtube.
Sometimes I have grand ideas about curing the world of its suffering in one Vlog. One inspirational talk will cure the world.. ha. But I truly feel we all suffer to some degree and that there is a cure for suffering. This gets me to the heart of this article.
There are two sources of information that have initiated this thought process; The book Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari and the Netflix original series Black Mirror. I read Sapiens a few months ago followed right after by its sequel Homo Deus. Black Mirror has been on my radar for years but I never got round to watching it. These two together have influenced me in a big way, even thought I am only four episodes in to Black Mirror.
Here is my thesis. Some people yearn for what is real, others wish to escape reality. If we yearn for what is real, and have the means to attain that, we will engage in activities that we love, maybe hobbies and being around other people at parties or on holidays. If we wish to escape reality, there is a chance it is because we don’t have the means to enjoy it. Where do you find yourself? Escape or experience?
Why would we want to engage in a reality that consists of waking up, going to work, coming home and dealing with hyperactive children, and then finally have two hours of restbite before beginning all over again. For me, as someone who wishes to participate in reality I have a few options in how I spend my few spare precious hours at the end of an evening or early in the morning.
I like to read, I have been studying Hungarian for a few months, and I also feel an urge to meditate longer and more often than I do. But these things require an effort at the end of a long and stressful day. I must summon some energy reserve from somewhere deep within me to spend an hour reading, or learning Hungarian vocabulary, or god forbid, sitting with my eyes closed for a whole hour!
So whats my point? What am I getting at?
If we don’t make an effort and move towards real things, this would include real experiences, real interactions, real life, then just the opposite will occur. When there is no effort at the end of my day, and I have no energy reserves because the kids have played up, or because my body is tired, or because I am feeling a little down, what do I end up doing? Watching Youtube? Watching TV? Scrolling through social media. Now you may relate to these thoughts and feelings and you may not, but you must have an opinion one way or the other.
(A thought just occurred that I should erase everything to this point and forget about it) But why? Why do I care what people think about my writing? Why is it important for it to get lots of views? Because that is what we are told gives us meaning.
- Lots of followers and subscribers
- Lots of likes and comments
- Lots of money and status
- Lots of friends
- Lots of hours spent watching Netflix
But none of this is real! They are just numbers. More is better.
But if we strip ourselves of all of these numbers, all the social media friends, even all the real friends, all the money, everything. What is left?
Yet this is most real thing that we have, and we are masking it with anything we can get our hands on.
Watch Black Mirror. Read Sapiens. Get informed about where we might be heading, and then ask yourself how it looks and if it is something that you would want to experience. And if you think I am exaggerating or becoming paranoid that the machines are coming for us…. Just look around the next time you are in a public space, or on public transport, or anywhere that you can find lots of people. You can even do some introspection and look at yourself. Maybe its better if we perform it as introspection.
Do I experience the world around me fully. Where I am, the people I am with, the surroundings, the smells, the sounds? Or am I more interested in what the screen can deliver for me? What someone else is doing, where they are, someone else life. Can there be anything less real than being more interested in another persons life than your own?
There is a choice. We can live our own life to the full. Follow our dreams, begin a new hobby or learn a new language. Read a book, (sapiens…). Begin a mindfulness/meditation practice. Something real.
Alternatively, we can remain hypnotised by the screens that are all around us, distracting us from reality and the present moment. These are two distinct paths, leading to two distinct realities.
The choice is yours.