Surfing is for Beaches
Left your phone at home? Panicking? Then this is for YOU…
When Timothy Leary first uttered the iconic phrase “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” in San Francisco way back in the 60’s he probably didn’t realise his words would remain as relevant today as they were back then in Golden Gate Park to an audience of 30,000 hippies.
As I enter my 50’s I look back at my childhood with nostalgia and appreciate it for all its innocence. I hated rainy days where I was stuck at home with only a Black & White push-button TV set showing old movies and adult news programs. TV for children was in its infancy and if I missed a program? Tough luck! Life moved on – there was no ‘rewind’ in those days.
If I wanted to see my friends I had to go and knock on their door. I discovered pornography when I found a ‘dirty magazine’ behind a bush in the park (needless to say my friends and I treasured that find for a long time) and calling a friend at home was a luxury – not everyone had a ‘land line’ and calls were costly and highly prized events, permission given rarely by my strict, cost-conscious parents. Usually, if a meet-up had been previously agreed at school or at the Park, you had to stick to the plan because there was no way of changing it. You were only ever as good as your word.
I often find myself scratching my head (not much hair left now) wondering where all the modern technology is taking us? You can instantly call, message, share photos and watch Porn within seconds and everyone takes pride in portraying their ‘wonderful life’ on Social Media. Little wonder those with less are jealous and feel left out because of those that [seem to] have more.
Any reasonable person can see that the vast majority of people adopt an online persona quite apart from their real self. They portray a life of popularity, good looks, comfortable lifestyle, furry pets and creamy latte’s. At parties they always have a great time, they are popular, their evenings are perfect and when they are drunk they maintain dignity and decorum. I cry bullshit! Fake news!
The Information Age and Digital Era has brought about an immense amount of good. Phenomenal advancements in security, safety, healthcare, childcare, learning & discovery and access for the impaired. Great news! I can remember when only privileged households could ever afford to pay for the entire set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. And the salesmen sure did a fine job of making parents feel guilty if they did not ‘invest in their children’s future’. Now you can Google anything. Do libraries still exist?
Unfortunately this information explosion has also brought with it Fake News, Fat Shaming, Online Bullying, Cyber Crime and an addiction to Social Media, to name but a few hurdles. The Cambridge Analytica debacle showed how companies can use ‘Big Data’ to exploit your online activities and ascertain what they can sell you, how they can brainwash you and present you with the News they want you to see. Big Brother? Yes it is!
It’s a shame that Social Media companies now know more about a child than the parents do. It is also alarming that these companies continue to exploit impressionable minds around to the way they want people to behave online and stay online. And yes, before you say it – adults are highly impressionable too! Hence society (children and adults alike) have become obese from sitting on their fat arses all day staring into their smart devices, expect their partners to behave like porn stars in bed, have insecurity issues because ‘everyone else seems to be having such a good time’, hate the way they look when their makeup hasn’t been fixed by an Instagram filter and hate their job because they never get promoted because (1) Hard work interferes with being online and (2) The world owes them a living anyway.
I did it My Way
With a spirit Timothy Leary would be proud of, I shall take his iconic phrase and adapt it to the modern era. Everyone is different, but the way I see things right now, in my opinion the following is relevant and applicable to the world we find ourselves in nowadays:
- Turn on : Your life. Get one offline and start living.
- Tune in : To what’s really important. It’s quality not quantity.
- Drop out: Limit Social Media. Avoid the narcissists. Avoid the hate. Go for a walk and hug a tree!
Stop being a digital victim – Start living the life you want
NOTE: I’m am not suggesting for one minute you go ‘off grid’ entirely. Even I need to check my Social Media accounts from time to time to see what’s happening with local events and what my friends have been up to. But I do this on a limited basis. I also prefer not to share most of my life online. Keep ‘em guessing. If they know me – they can visit.