The Importance of Community in the face of Mundanity

We’re processing too much. It’s coming one too quickly. As cliche as it is we’ve become our own worst enemy. Our phones, our machines. This, my friends, has become the invisible leash tempering our brains into oblivion.

Have you ever been caught checking your phone while someone was trying to get your attention? In that moment of pulling away, were you slightly stupefied and annoyed? This is the new brain.

Unplugging now is harder than ever. With every dopamine inducing click, there’s information waiting for us, accumulating while we sleep. To tell anyone to just “unplug” is an oversimplification of what a real solution is to an invisible problem. We can’t unplug. We won’t unless we’re living off the grid or hiking the PCT (which I’d recommend). We need this mind numbing agent.

Now that we’ve amassed this powerful tech we must find some space to get perspective on what’s really important. Moving past consumption and onto proactive change seems like an impossible feat. But an urgency is arising from the shadows of Instagram’s glorious selfie streams and onto something that showcases our humanity to others and ourselves in a new type of way. We need a voice for the sake of defeating the thoughtlessness all around us. And we need help.

We sacrifice creative thinking for the sake of breaking news. We silently watch from the darkness as we enable the loudness of our friends’ undying need for validation. We can’t stand out in a desperate, saturated, social media landscape and maintain our true values. How can we feel relevant in a world where everyone’s happiness is broadcasted like a Gap ad? What can we do to air our frustrations and be heard by a world of people who deep down, feel the same way?

We need to build a community.

Until we understand the importance of community and collaboration, we’re susceptible to toxic isolationism that so many artists suffer through. We need fresh ideas now more than ever. The partnerships, competitions, and networks we’re in (or going to be in) can only advance us. Once we think the world was made for solely us, we’re dead in the water. We’re apart of something massive. We can still operate as individuals and create, but never in the absence of others who have gotten us where we are — and where we’re going. A network whether weak or strong should be acknowledged and appreciated for what it is.

During the Enlightenment Period small communities or networks were essential in the spreading of ideas relevant to an enlightened society at the risk of persecution. Most of these networks were established at Masonic lodges, libraries and salons by people promoting intellectualism and advancing the need to to evolve from medieval puritanical thinking to modernity.

Once we seek out those who think like us, we can build more. We can use these relationships to hold us accountable and encourage us.

Let’s try it. Let’s reach out to someone who can teach us something, or learn from us. Let’s create a community that builds us up, breaks us down and sends us back to the drawing boards. Let’s pick and choose those we’d like to hang out with and rid ourselves of people who hold us back from building the networks we want. Let’s prove our self-worth so that we can sleep better at night thinking we did something good. We need people now more than ever. Let’s be apart of something. Let’s work, together.

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