Staring at screens all day long. Is this what we’ve all been working towards? Is this the height of human civilization and our technological sophistication? From your phone screen to the television screen, to the computer screen at work, to the movie screen on a night off with your friends. We are all addicted to it. We are all enslaved by it. But we can’t cut the cord because this cord is so intimately tied to our sense of belonging to a digitized and bastardized version of what our social lives used to be. “You don’t have Facebook? Wow, that’s weird!” You might as well be Ted Kaczynski.
Our attention is no longer ours. It belongs to the corporations which cleverly construct algorithms that recommend the next piece of content that “we might enjoy.” That fifteen minute clip we weren't planning on watching and didn’t even know existed until it was served up to us on a silver YouTube platter. And we rationalize our compulsive behavior as though we are in control. After all, this information is making us “more informed” and we have a responsibility to be “in the know.” And all this information will come in handy at some point. Won’t it?
The sad reality is that you are a product. Every part of your digital footprint is collected, categorized and sold off to third parties so they can develop clever ad campaigns to get you to buy more crap. More crap that will put you into more debt, that will make you more desperate to continue to work at the job you don’t really like so you can attempt to pay off those debts (which always seem to grow faster than your salary).
Tyler Durden said it best, “You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
People used to value spending time with one another. People used to speak to each other instead of texting across the living room. People used to appreciate what they had. People used to have a fighting chance of controlling and making up their own minds. But now, we have access to everything and we value nothing. We have access to everyone and we value no one. And our minds are controlled by the corporations who extract our money and time and serve us up another dose of entertainment directly into our mainline.