Fight the algorithms.
You are more than a collection of your likes.
You are more than what you could buy with money. How ridiculous that concept is anyhow. How insulting. Think about it. That you are simply how you shop.
- You are more than a set of data points.
- You weren’t born to shop. You were born to BE.
- You are a human BEING.
Sweet Jesus, fight the reduction of your breathing soul to a set of data points feeding an algorithm.
Toni Morrison once said (and I paraphrase) that Americans used to be called citizens, then consumers, and then taxpayers.
And now: data sets. Americans are a collection of data points. Gross.
We don’t have to live this way.
Whatever this society is now, I don’t want it for me or my kids and neither should you.
Every time this technological industry complex reduces you to a subset or a test of their predictive model – every time they strip you of your essential being and manipulate you like you’re five and you have a blindfold on and they’re spinning you in a circle promising candy will fall from the sky – you lose and so does the world.
We have invented this technology, embraced it, and welcomed it into our homes, our lives, our bedrooms. I get that. I ate the candy along with everybody else. But now we need to learn better how to live with it. Regulate it. Stop polluting our heads with it like so much nicotine-filled smoke and instead decide if and when we want a somewhat satisfying yet dangerous hit.
Digital hit. Digital high. Okay. Enough. Time for a break.
Technology isn’t our savior. It never was and anyone who tries to sell you that line is likely lining their pocket with your likes and your eyeballs. We are our own saviors. And technology can be incredibly helpful and useful – that’s how we all bought tickets to the ride to begin with.
But our brains have been changed by social media and the internet.
Well, I want my old brain back. Do you?
I tell my kids to keep reading books and keep putting their phones down so they can keep working deeply. In another 5-10 years, the skill of concentration will be rare and the price for those who have it will skyrocket.
Think about that. If we keep going the way we are going, the future will belong once more to those who are intelligent and can think deep thoughts. Full circle to the Renaissance, but with indoor plumbing and better (but still a long way to go) human rights.
But we have to get through this part now – the part where stupidity thrives and it feels like we are a nation of morons. We have to hold off the morons. No letting up now.
Stop “liking” things and pick up a book.
It’s not the entire answer. Just part of it. Fight to get your deep concentration skills back.
- Read “Deep Work” and “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport. Buy them at your local bookstore.
- When the prompt on your phone says, “Turn off location services” tap yes.
- Better yet, put your phone in a drawer for an hour. Maybe a whole day. See how you feel.
We don’t have to live this way. You are more than a collection of your “likes.”
Fight the algorithms.