I decided I’m giving up social media. I cancelled my twitter account and have put my facebook on inactive status. I spend too much time on facebook and not enough time actually writing and researching. I have only a couple close friends and a few cousins I really hear from anymore via facebook. I would have given it up over a year ago if I wasn’t fearful I’d permanently lose contact with my friends and family. I tired writing more emails several months ago, but got only one response from the dozen I sent out. I suppose it feeds into my paranoia that my friends and family really don’t like me that much. Every time I call my parents, the bulk of the conversation focuses on what I can do to improve myself and how to make my apartment more presentable. I find this irritating. I really do. I can’t even just live anymore. At this point in my life, I don’t care if I impress people or am popular. I have never been popular, not even in college or high school. But I had a good time in college because I got to spend time with people even more eccentric and academically oriented than myself on a daily basis. I know many people condemn academic knowledge, scholarly pursuits, and intelligence. I have endured this my entire life. And I have given up on people ever changing their attitudes towards intelligence and wisdom. I just want to live and be allowed to pursue my goals, which include learning as much as I possibly can about as many subjects as I can. I don’t give a damn if I ever make a cent off my pursuits of knowledge and wisdom. As long as I have enough money to make rent and keep my pantry stocked and myself clothed and my psych medications current, everything else is just add ons. I don’t need a large house, a prestigious career, a trophy wife, lots of kids, a fancy car, designer clothes, or the respect of people I have nothing in common with. I never have. I was, like many ambitious teenagers, brainwashed into thinking I needed such nonsense to have a fulfilled life. It took a serious mental illness and struggling for most of my twenties to realize that wasn’t what I wanted for myself. And it took a few more years to where I got to the point when I no longer felt shame for not wanting a life I had no say in designing.
I don’t feel shame for not wanting to be rich or famous. I don’t write blogs every few days with the idea I will get noticed and make a train load of money. I write for a record of what it like to be a mentally ill man in early 21st century America. I don’t write just for my current audience. I write for future generations so there is at least one record as to what mental illness meant in the early stages of the Information Revolution. And make no mistake, our species and our civilizations are going through a period of transition at very least as profound as the Agricultural Revolution thousands of years ago and the Industrial Revolution hundreds of years ago. It should be no wonder so many people are afraid and angry. Afraid of what’s happening and what is going to happen. Angry that we found that much of what we learned in our youths and what worked well in previous generations is starting to no longer apply.
We are at a point in history when our science and tech is advancing faster than our institutions of government, religion, education, finance, industry, and social norms. At this point in time (November 2019), the world is far different than the one I went to high school in during the 1990s. I’ve recently rewatched some of the tv shows that were popular when I was a teenager, and it’s almost quaint looking at some of the tech that was considered cutting edge twenty five years ago. Even in the Matrix series, there were no smart phones, social media, video sharing platforms, laptop computers, etc. There were still phone booths in that series and that was made only twenty years ago. I didn’t notice the subtle changes that were happening over the course of a year or two when things were happening. But looking at it over the span of twenty years, I am as a 39 year old man living in a world that is foreign to the one I occupied at age 16. I’m not even sure my niece and nephews have seen a VCR tape anywhere outside of a history show or museum. I sometimes chuckle when I see older people who don’t research online as much as my cohorts do. But my teenage nephews would chuckle that I have never run a 3D printer or used a VR headset. One of my nephews recently bought a VR headset from money he raised working odd jobs for his parents and neighbors. He set up a VR flying simulator for my father. As for me, I’m waiting a couple of years for the prices to drop and the tech to get more user friendly. As crazy as the changes I have seen in the last twenty years have been, I guarantee the next twenty will be even more so. At this point I’m just content to buckle up and enjoy the ride from my apartment in small town Nebraska.