It is somewhat ironic that you are reading this, and I have written and published this, using precisely the medium (unintended but awesome pun) with which I am recommending that you take habitual, daily breaks from. Bang. There’s the punchline and I’m not even a paragraph in. This writing business is harder than it looks. But I digress. I want to turn to the word Chatter. Say it out loud. Chatter. Emphasize the t’s. It’s almost like you can feel the meaning of the word just by saying it out aloud. Chatter. Teeth rattling. Unpleasant, no? I find chatter exceedingly unpleasant. It’s the incessant background noise to daily life. “BUY THIS AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE BETTER! Buy this because you better perform in bed otherwise she’ll leave you and you’ll return to a pit of despair and loneliness and what on earth will you have for dinner because you never learned how the fuck to cook; buy this and you’ll smell better and that means she’ll saunter across the room and lick your ear and all you have to do is nothing nothing at all just stand there and don’t worry because you don’t have to feel the fear of walking up to her and risking rejection and puncturing of your fragile self the self that the world screams at you that it isn’t enough because you haven’t got what they say you need and even when you do there’s a new thing that you need and your life isn’t complete without it!”
Exhausting. And I’m just talking about one small part of the soundscape. Advertising. Then you’ve got news headlines. The Electra to Godzilla. And the images. The endless images. Scroll. There’s another. Scroll. I’ll get to the end. Scroll. There’s more. Food. Beaches. Sports. Hashtags. Endless. (And let’s just not go near texts, emails, ad infinitum. You get the point.)
It doesn’t matter a jot to know that the information today is of orders of magnitude more than yesterday, let alone a year or a decade ago. You feel it. It’s a pressure. A futile quest to consume it all before you die.
But. You can opt out. It’s possible. Like today for instance. It’s 334pm. I’m writing this on my phone but it has been in airplane mode since my last message to someone, at 1044pm last night. I haven’t opened my laptop. I haven’t switched on the news. I listened to a locally stored meditation podcast at the gym. I came home and made a smoothie (fuck I’m healthy, look at me. Need a pic to prove it? #smoothie #inanity). My point is that you don’t have to be connected. It’s a choice. And when you’re not, you start to tune back into your own voice, like finding a station on an analog car radio (kids, you’ll just have to imagine a time when, to change stations, you used a small knob to scroll past static and white noise until you got the right frequency). Tune into your frequency. Tune out the chatter.
Now you’ll have to excuse me. I’ve got to connect to post this and see how many likes I can get.