In 1970 Alvin Toffler wrote a book called “Future Shock”.
He defined “future shock” as a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies. The shortest definition for the term in the book is a personal perception of “too much change in too short a period of time”.
We are living in such times right now.
These changes might be less harmful or even beneficial if the people bringing about such changes had the benefit and wellbeing of their fellow man and the environment in their hearts. However, this is definitely not the case. It is “all about the money”. We have seen how social media splinters society in the name of greater profits. Algorithms are designed to make your feed as addictive as possible. People are usually too lazy to make themselves familiar with the points of view they oppose and as a result, they find themselves in an online echo- chamber, where their fears are magnified and exploited, converting them into “sincere puppets”. Big interests distort and corrupt science to the point where, unless you are prepared to put in the work, it becomes very difficult to know what to believe. People follow idiots whose only strength is creating false yet beguiling narratives and “life styles”, behind which are often the big interests I mentioned earlier.
An alarming consequence of this is a dumbing-down of society, shortened attention spans, inability to read a complete book, and an inability to think critically at any level.
George Orwell gave us one view of the future with his novel 1984. However, I think we are much closer to the future described by Aldous Huxley’s novel “Brave New World” in which the classes of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons are simply faceless drones in color-coded outfits who exist to serve the more intelligent Alphas and Betas. All the people in this society are conditioned to take a drug called soma, which is meant to block out emotions resulting from stressful situations such as pain, grief, and anger. The drug is a symbol of escapism and an inability to confront or accept the real world.
If you haven’t read the works of Toffler and Huxley, I recommend them to you, as both are unnervingly prophetic.
OK now that you’re feeling depressed, cynical or angry, what can we do about it?
- Take care of yourself first. Take care of others once you have taken care of yourself.
- Get your exposure to social media down to zero as or as low as you can possibly make it.
- Read books. Put being informed over tribalism.
- Reduce your exposure to the news. Most of it is there to distract us from the important things. Put aside 30 minutes a day to inform yourself.
- Switch off your notifications.
- Get out into nature every day for at least 15 minutes.
- Focus on what you control – on yourself and your immediate environment. Do not waste time worrying about things you cannot control.
- Practice mindfulness, which will help you be more awake in your life.
- Cultivate an attitude of healthy scepticism.
- Practice gratitude so that you appreciate what you have rather than be constantly hungry for the latest crap they are trying to sell to you.
- If they have to advertise it, it means that you don’t need it.
- Don’t go along to get along; try to think and act for yourself.
- Don’t waste time comparing yourself with others. You will only end up comparing your interior with their exterior.
- Practice compassion. Remember everyone wants to be happy and avoid suffering. But most of us cock it up. To be human is to suffer.
- Nothing is permanent.
- The only moment you can ever have is now.
I wish you peace, health and happiness.