Five children died tonight in a structure fire on the lower east side of Some City You've Never Heard Of, and a lone gunman let loose on a parade three countries away. These stories, as they happened, next on WTAO News.
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OMG!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE JESSE DID THAT TO ME. FML!!!!!!
Each day we subject ourselves to the news, to our social media feeds, and to mindless drivel on the TV, on the Internet, and in video games. This shit fills our minds. What did Jesse do, and why do we care? Are the other children we can't help or affect okay? How can we stop gun violence and why won't the government do anything about it? How the fuck do you think clearly and attain your own goals when you're focused on people hundreds or thousands of miles away who have no actual bearing on your life?
Our lives are made up, for better or for worse, of screens. There's a pocket-sized screen feeding you the up-to-the-minute minutiae of Jane's life, syndicated news telling you shit that doesn't matter to you from half a world away, and TV shows full of hidden agendas, constantly pumping bullshit into your mind like an IV intended to keep you afraid or sedated. It's nearly impossible to escape these influences in modern life--the modern social life almost requires an Internet presence, jobs expect to see profiles and resumes at your own vanity domain name. Everywhere you go, from the backyard gathering to your favorite drinking hole, TVs and screens are feeding you things you probably don't need to know.
Live feeds will show you violence as it unfolds, wars happen with live coverage, beamed to your eyes from half a world away. Everywhere you turn, information overload. And when it's time to do work, or sleep, or spend a relaxing moment with your family, you find it difficult because the world is so scary, so chaotic, so unpredictable. What are we to do? How can you possibly focus on your goals when the children in Wherethefuckeveristan need your hard-earned money to survive?
Media, whether it's the news, Google, Facebook, or Twitter, thrives by scaring you, by seducing you, and by selling you shit you don't need. They exist to literally program your mind to do what they want you to do, and they're freakishly proficient at it. The news isn't interested in giving you feel-good stories (though they'll pretend they are) because good news simply doesn't bring the ratings they need to bring in advertising dollars. In order to cash in, they'll sensationalize bad news no matter where it occurs, and as a result, you'll fear like there's a very real threat around every corner. Social media an internet advertisers, for the most part, don't care what their advertisers are trying to sell you, so long as they pay for the advertising space. The information could very easily be a flat-out lie, and no one bats an eye. You're fed shit, while media gets fat off your fear.
Mind Your Mind
With everyone spoonfeeding you shit, it becomes important that you pay attention to what spoons you choose to eat from. The most effective way to do this is, obviously, to just turn it all off. That may work for some people, but increasingly, more of us rely on Google to deliver information or Facebook to stay in touch and to organize events with friends and family. These services do provide real value, and for many of us those tools are indispensable. Here at The Apocalypse Order, I use both to disseminate my information, to advertise my wares, and hopefully to help you live a better, healthier, and more self-determined life than you did before. I couldn't do that on nearly the scale I do without these platforms that I'm railroading in this post.
Since many of us can't simply abandon these platforms outright, it becomes important to think about how we use them, as well as how we digest the information we're fed. Do you really need to be arguing the issue du jour on Facebook, or could you be working out, spending time with your kid or significant other, or working on a project that will enrich you and your life? Is that Twitter thread really worth the 45 minutes you're going to spend following it and possibly arguing with people you have never and will never meet? Do you actually think you are going to change their minds?
Is the thing in the advertisement going to enrich your life? I mean in the long run - not the temporary serotonin high you'll get when it arrives, but will it actually be useful in inspiring you or motivating you to do better? Is it useful?
Every decision that you make affects your life. Do you need to spend money on that thing? Do you need to engage in that debate? What you need to ask yourself before you waste your time, effort, and/or your money is whether or not engaging in the thing will positively affect you and your family and friends in the long run.
If you have children, the choices you make will affect them. Your choices will affect your friends. Your choices will affect everyone you can influence. Most importantly, they will affect you. Every moment you spend arguing is a minute you aren't getting stronger, a minute you're not creating, a minute you aren't playing with your son or daughter, or working on your relationship with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, or husband.
Mind Your Mind
Every decision is a new opportunity to become a better person
Every wasted second is a second you can never get back
Every wasted ounce of effort is a goal left unattained
Take your time - live consciously - live deliberately
Make every decision with purpose, every purchase with thought
You can't take things with you to the grave,
You can leave a lasting legacy on this world
And none of them will come from arguments
Or your possessions
They will come for your actions and your impact
Mind - Your - Mind