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A month without Social Media: Week 4

We don’t really know what we are destined for until we begin to look within ourselves and question who and what we are. I didn’t begin to question myself until I had failed multiple times, and I will continue since I’m still behind.
Failure hurts. It either turns you into a stronger person, or it breaks you. Some people are weaker than others; I used to be that person; I was broken, angry, and lost, and I never realized how good I had it until life punched me in the face.
Some of the greatest people to ever live suffered greater, and in some ways there suffering helped turn them into the people they ended up becoming. People like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who wrote the Gulag Archipelago lived through hell in the USSR; his suffering is the reason that explained everything about what was actually going inside the hell hole known as the Soviet Union.
After not being on social media, I finally realized that we had it all wrong as a society. This is the greatest time to be alive, and we are not appreciative of it. Instead, we focus on all the negatives and trick ourselves into believing that life is actually worse then it is.
This is not to discredit people who truly have miserable lives; I recognize the problems that face society today, and what that means to future generations if we don’t change today (climate change, Government Debt, and more).
Life is the best it’s ever been for everyone, and simultaneously there can still be problems that exist that are plaguing us today. Life isn’t binary; it’s complicated beyond belief. There is a reason why no one has been able to answer the philosophical questions that people are still arguing about today, and what we are going to continue to argue about for the rest of the time we are on this earth.
The media focuses on the negative because we are programmed to focus on the negative. So when I wasn’t on social media my thoughts went focused on the positive; when I didn’t watch the news my thoughts focused on the positive. Despite the fact that I have no money I still am living a life that is better and more flourishing than that of the richest man in 1918. I have a family that loves me which is a privilege to have; combine that with the friends I have in my life, and I’m doing better than most. The majority of interactions I had were overwhelmingly positive, including the conversations on politics and religion. I didn’t feel forced to look down at my phone; conversations with people had more meaning to them. I did more research on the world around me and asked the questions that I hadn’t asked before, and what I found out is that this is the best time to be alive.
It’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to be angry about the world, but when you dive into the facts and look at the full picture; life doesn’t seem as miserable. This kind of thinking can lead to nihilism, which is one of the greatest evils in the world. When everything is meaningless what is the point of living? What is the point of other people living? Why do their lives matter?
Nihilism turns regular people into sociopathic murderers who end up doing unspeakable things in the name of this belief. This type of thinking has the ability to become normal if everything we see around us is negative. Negative images lead to negative thoughts, which leads to negative actions.
This is not true for everyone obviously, but the cases where it is true end up being deadly. The Columbine shooters believed life was pointless and that human life was pointless too. Humanity is the virus they said, and they took out their nihilist view of the world on their classmates. There are several other examples where nihilism is the determining factor in someone doing something evil.
Not being on social media allowed me to escape some of those feelings. Everyone is susceptible of ending up in an echo chamber, and in that echo chamber, anyone who disagrees with you is just an evil nitwit who doesn’t care about women, children, etc.
Before I did this experiment, I liked to see myself as an open-minded individual, but just like everyone else, I found out that I wasn’t as open-minded as I thought I was. Now looking back on a lot of my mistakes I am amazed what a month can do to a person.
I found a well-known Harvard professor named Steven Pinker (I knew about him before but just by looking at him I thought he was going to be another leftist who just thinks like everyone else), and I gave him a chance since he was on the Joe Rogan podcast, which I’m a fan of, and The Rubin Report, which I’m also a fan of.
He looks at the world from a central point of view which was extremely refreshing. He described himself as a centrist, and I would agree with that. He gave statistics to prove that we are living in the best time to be alive and that the news tends to focus on the negative despite because that’s what we focus on.
As I searched into his claims I began to understand that the world is getting better, and it’s because of the system that the west was built on, and that’s the idea that the individual is supreme. Worldwide poverty has decreased, there’s less war, violence, and technology has improved people’s standings in the world around them in ways we don’t fully understand.
So, going back to social media my first day back on April 16th, 2018 I couldn’t help it even though I thought I had a different mindset, and my mind went towards the negative instantly.
“Why the did we bomb Syria? Why does everyone on both sides act like they have the full story and that their opinion is the right one?” Maybe it’s just human nature, but this is what happened to me right away? As if I was a robot with no control.
As I reflect back, and I begin my plan on how to utilize social media in a way that benefits me with my career; I will continue to study and listen to people who I wouldn’t have normally paid any attention to. In this strategy, I believe I will become a better person.
I would definitely recommend a break from social media every 6 months or so, it’s well deserving on your mental health. And if you’re aren’t an addicted asshole like I was then you’re doing better then the majority of people.

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