If I am an animal, why isn’t staring out at my natural surroundings enough? I can watch the wind blow, the rain fall, the clouds rolling by.
At times, I feel like I’ve lost control. I know I should be using my digital device to actually get shit done, but man, there’s a world out there. Or maybe I should say, “in there”: Tear-jerking Olympic highlights. Pee-inducing comedy skits. Skin-tingling powder lines. Exercise-ball accidents for days. Unicorn sex. Is this my new nature?
There are things to learn, but, of course, they come with shadows. There are predators, and I am the prey. Darker temptations lie only words and clicks away. Then there’s the guilt of time wasted, of shit that did not get done, of knowing that you could have been out for a ride, or a walk with your kid, or having a conversation with your loved one. But instead, you watch a Russian dash cam catch a poo truck exploding in Moscow traffic, a teenage boy in his under-wear and a swimming cap dancing and singing the “I Love Chicken Nuggets” song.
I know I’m not alone. The views tell me so. Millions upon mil-lions watching giant boils getting squeezed and Angry Grandpa fart compilations. We are addicted. If it’s not media, it’s email or Skype or Facetime or Slack or any thousands of other beautifully designed distractions pulling at us from our pockets and our backpacks, our living rooms and our desks. Every spare moment filled with rain-bows of entertainment.
I find it hard to break away. We rely on our reach, our ability to communicate and do our work well: we sell, organize events, share ideas and raise money. We have to play the game. And in order to play, we need to know the rules. And the rules change every day. You’re either in, or you’re out. Right? Or so I rationalize.
So, is this my nature? Modern culture’s natural obsession? Not watching for prey. Not cultivating our fields. Not building our villages or following the seasons as they rotate from one to the other. Foregoing the wind and the rain and the clouds. In a world so detached from nature because of our newfound “connection,” is this all I’ve got?
From Coast Mountain Culture Magazine #11 – Backside Column by Editor-in-Chief, Mitchell Scott