Just been in the mood to avoid people as much as possible the last several days. I leave my apartment only a couple times a day and check Facebook only once or twice a day. It’s not that I think I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown, it’s that I want to avoid planting the seeds for one. Listening to most people lately is like listening to a skipping MP3 (or broken record for my readers over fifty). I don’t want to hear about the weather, or how much you hate your job, or how much of a thoughtless jerk your significant other is, or how everyone who doesn’t agree with you on politics or religion or economics is the devil’s minion. I just really no longer want to hear it. I’ve had my fill of negativity and snark. Talk is cheap and snark is free but wisdom is ignored it seems.
One of the reasons I got back into science in a big way was that I got tired of hearing how bad people sucked and that civilization was going to collapse any day now. I also watched all these doomsday scenario shows like The Day After, Red Dawn, Armageddon, Independence Day, 2012, The Terminator series, etc. that said we were all going to die any day now. At this point in my life, after seeing “88 reasons for the return of Jesus in 1988”, Y2K fizzle out, 9/11 and the resulting never ending wars, the Great Recession, the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012, Occupy Wall Street come to nothing, and the election of our current crop of politicians, I just yawn and laugh at every other predicted end times or end of civilization b.s. I see every other week. You normals really have an amazing ability to believe any type of nonsense that gets repeated enough. I find it tragic because many normals are worrying themselves sick over things that never come to pass or are easily solveable.
After years of hearing nothing but doom and gloom, I wanted to hear what was going well for a change. Growing up, I rarely heard anything positive about the world from my elders or teachers. I had heard from about second grade on that American students were the dumbest in the industrialized world. If that was so, I reasoned, then why don’t we improve the school system and stop blaming the kids. The looks of anger I got from my elders were like I just said the Ten Commandments were bogus. I never did get an answer from my elders. I also never got answers from my elders when I asked if things suck so bad, why doesn’t anyone do anything to change them. I swear, the mark of a chronically sane individual is to gripe and moan about a problem but not do any thing to solve said problem. I’ve seen it my entire life.
Even today when I try to tell people about what is going right in the world (often through science, technology, humanitarian efforts, etc.), I’m usually met with deafening silence or people telling me I’m a liar. I’ve been called a liar my entire life, especially when I was right. So it’s nothing new. Not even my close friends really respond to the good things I tell them. I’d get more responses if I took pictures of what I had for dinner it seems or posted some snarky stuff about how people that don’t think like I do are the devil’s servants. I know things are going better in this world than most people think. Even after Hurricane Harvey knocked out most of the Houston area, there were people from all over on the way to clean up the damage and help those in need within hours of the storm hitting. It’s a pity that it takes a calamity for many people to see through their petty illusions of what is wrong and actually do something right.
I have decided I’m essentially unplugging from the illusions that the press and social media present. I’m keeping my interactions on Facebook and other outlets to a bare minimum from now on. I don’t want to hear political sermons or diatribes about how bad young people suck worse than ever anymore. I signed up for Facebook because I wanted to keep in contact with my college and high school friends, not to listen to people gripe and moan about whatever grievance is popular this week. For my younger readers, try not to take the garbage the press and your elders say about you personally. They were saying the same thing about my cohorts and myself twenty years ago and we turned out just fine. Their elders said the same things about them back in the 1960s during the Vietnam War protests and race riots. And sadly, come 2030 or so, many of you will say the same idiotic things about your kids. I swear our species is the only species that actively despises it’s own offspring. Yet despite our hangups, we are advancing. That is why I think, in spite our petty squabbles and complaints, I think humans in general are pretty cool. I just think the illusions our squabbles create are tiresome and I’m content to watch our species advance from a distance for the time being.
I just don’t want to be bothered with it anymore. I don’t want to hear that civilization is heading to hell in a hand basket when all the data (for those who will actually do a few minutes of google searches) says other wise.