I suppose I should begin with a rather simple but also horrifyingly easy question to pose to you all.
Is your time online, your screen time, more or less than what it was before 2020?
If you live in the West, I know exactly what that answer is. More.
If it’s less, congratulations, you’re a minority of well disciplined people that have identified the issue and have taken steps to correct one of the most fundamental problems of the technological society we’re in. We are living in a transhumanist state, most of us connected to our phones and our computers to read, listen to music, and communicate with a world that we were brutally cut out from participating in. I feel that for many of us, we are intrinsically aware of the very dangerous tools that we use in our day to day and what could happen to us. To reference the Smiths, does the technology rule the mind or does the mind rule the technology?
It’s one of those chicken or the egg questions, to be frank, at least in the now. After all most of our social media, all these platforms for communication, content creation and aggregation, you name it, has been designed to systematically wipe your attention span down to the first few seconds to hook you in to keep you for the rest of their schtick or to keep you coming back for more and more until you’re a deracinated monkey pressing the button because neuron activation. Even my writing is littered with references to memes and bands only known by people my age because we either grew up with them or saw them in ways that became their own memeplexes themselves. I am uniquely aware of the technological impact on my brain, attention span, and my ability to be aware of so much all at once at all times that you’re left longing for greener pastures. I talked about it in a recent video, inspired by Morgoth, about wanting banality.
However. That awareness allows you to slap yourself out of the horizon gazing and move towards something that can allow you to harness what is happening and to make the most of it. Your awareness to harness this technology, to be the master over these technics is what is the silver lining of this current decade and age.
What would you know without this tool, a ways and means to access lost art, knowledge, and to see the digital printings of books that have rotted away on library shelves or better yet burned by universities for the truths they told? How many of you found people who could answer your questions from niche historical subjects to bringing you back to Christ?
What would you have known?
For many of those under 40, the web was their pathway to a better sense of understanding, what and who to read, and whom to follow as they craft their own voice and adjust their camera eye on the world. It’s certainly difficult to control, and many do fall into the pitfalls, as the siren’s song of the perpetually online leaves so many wanting to untie themselves from the mast and to dive right in. Some of have turned themselves away from Twitter, or take mandatory days off along with breaks.
It’s a challenge, but if you’re willing to engage and and keep going, odds are the network will grow into something that is more than just online. I’ve met quite a few of my online friends in the meatspace, and those friendships are only made stronger by combination of the physical and digital bonds you’ve forged in common struggles and beliefs that we all have in this space of the world. How many projects, groups, essays, books, and more have come to fruition because of these networks?
Quite a damn bit, if the explosion of this side of things grew from some older publications, blogs, and google hangouts to what it is now.
Before I go any further though, this does not mean abandon the real.
It is a difficult thing to translate the digital space into something tangibly meaningful in the real world. Doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Currently working with a few friends to work on an network for Orthodox American men for support, job boards, the works. Not to mention my own desires to soon have a book with a collection of these silly essays inside.
The online is great, but you, as man, must learn to master this becomes the only place you exist in. Just as you are aware that you are mortal, you cannot assume that this piece of plastic, metal, and silicon is going to save your soul or offer any tangible escape from real life you live. Well…at least for now. You do still have to sleep for the time being.
The Retarded Frog
A while back in a conversation with my friend T.R. Hudson, author whose works you can find here, we talked about how the left and the right online have their own avatars for their self perception and projection online. It inspired the tweet below, but I did love his phrasing, “and we’re just this retarded frog.”
It’s a strange insignia of sorts, knowing its prominence online goes from everything to “coffee zone” to the usual “Good Morning” tweets to the characters having their own taxonomy and lore, so to speak.
Take comfort in the little things, as the larger picture will cause tremble in awe if you even have the slightest idea of how bad things are, and how the worst has yet to come. It can cause that sensory overload of wanting to gaze to the horizon. But take heed! You’re not alone, there are networks, people who will connect you to the right places, and will offer advice for your own success in the real world.
You may be just one, silly looking retarded little frog.
But there’s a hell of a whole lot of you, so this’ll make do.