Undivided Attention

I’m the kind of douche bag who decides what kind of douche they’re going to be when they wake up.

Am I going to be a sunglasses wearing even though it’s cloudy outside kind of douche, or the doesn’t reply to the cashier when they ask “How are you?” kind of douche?

I feel that life is becoming increasingly more like a chore that no one has the energy to fake interest in anymore.  We’re all stuck to our devices busy ignoring life.  The ultimate measure of a decent life has become how well we can ignore it.  

I mean, look at the amount of apps there are out there!  All made in the name of efficiency when in reality it’s a contest of who can distract the most people the most effectively.  Efficiency is now just another name for convenience.

The truth is we have become masters at inefficiency.

No longer are we able to focus on doing one thing to the best of our ability.  We’ve been conned into thinking that doing the most things at the same time is what counts.  I remember a couple years ago when the psychology community was arguing with the public about the value of multitasking and whether it is truly a thing.

After various studies they concluded that the brain cannot effectively do what the mainstream has come to call multitasking, and that the human brain can actually only focus on doing one cognitively complex task at a time.

I mean truly focus.

That even though we can train our bodies to rely on muscle memory and a limited version of human autopilot, in order to truly perform any task to the best of our ability it is necessary to give it our undivided attention.  

 

Whatever happened to those findings, huh?

Doesn’t it strike anyone as strange that this verity was swept under the rug in the rush of amplified consumerism?  Technology has allowed us to become masters at distraction at a rate the world has never seen before.  Of course the powers that be didn’t want their eyeball-less sheep to reach the conclusion that came with this psychological epiphany.

God forbid they realize they don’t need any more stuff!

It seems that people have been duped into thinking that because the things they seek are less tangible and more metaphysical (in the sense that they can be downloaded onto their handhelds), that they have broken the bonds of consumerism and have bloomed into a much more evolved creature.  The self-help book that they downloaded onto their kindle about how to accomplish more and feel unhappy less, is not a desperate cry for help to the gods of consumerism, but a postmodern side-effect of advanced life that simply has to be dealt with.

Or so they tell themselves.

People have tried to mitigate this side-effect with things such as minimalist movements, but to no avail.  The people attempting to dive back into their primitive, more driven roots, inevitably come back more jaded and material hungry than they were before.

Back into the ocean of stuff they plunge.  The decision to give themselves over to a deluge of voices whispering, “Join us, join us.  You lost the battle because there is no war to be won,” lulls them into an apathetic slumber.

They cannot seem to wrench themselves from the grip of caressing hands murmuring,”There, there.  No need to fuss.  It’ll all be over soon.  Just pretend until it is.”
Do you know what’s so hard about fighting against the post modern wave of feigned sensitivity?  It’s the fact that we hold no ideology anymore.

How do you fight against a collective consciousness that has staked no claim in anything?

Can you fight against a wave that isn’t moving in any direction?

Can you argue with a generation who hasn’t bothered to say a thing?  

-LDA

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My Quiet Life of Desperation

Sometimes I question whether I’m missing some piece of mental machinery every human is supposed to have.  Some essential brain cog of empathy or social deftness that would enable me to understand other people’s actions, or more importantly, my own.

 

It’s like this.  I’m confronted with a situation any ordinary person would see as easy to deal with and my mind runs a million miles a minute trying to put the pieces of this great social puzzle together in order to come up with the appropriate response.  My heart’s tearing me one way, telling me to run, run as fast I can, and my mind’s gently coaxing me in the opposite direction saying I should stay and fight the panic.

 

“We can do this,” my brain whispers.  “It’s just a couple variables plugged into some great social algorithm we have yet to discover.  Just crack the code, crack the code…”

 

I want to choose to fight, but more often than not it’s flight that I choose after a couple of feeble jabs.

 

It’s not that I’m some big social pariah or even that one could tell I’m having a hard time dealing with the occasional social situation, but it’s clear as day to me of course.  I’ll feel like I’m in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants where the driver’s ed. teacher, Mrs. Puff, tries to teach Spongebob to drive through a simple obstacle course.  There’s always someone in my brain screaming “Floor it! FLOOR it!”  

 

It’s frustrating.

 

Luckily my socio-emotional car wrecks don’t end in any physical casualties that heal by the very next t.v. episode.  But I still have to deal with emotional wreckage.

 

No.

I’m being dramatic. 

 

Wreckage is too strong a word for it.  It’s not as if I slap people and insult their mothers every time I feel socially gangly and awkward. 

 

I might just give a one word response to an essay-like question or offer a cold one-handed wave rather than a warm two-armed hug.  Just little things.  But these little things can make a big difference when it comes to relationships, and I feel at a loss when I have to deal with the after-effects with no sane explanation for my actions.

 

I mean, what do I say?

 

“Sorry, I was having a mini-emotional breakdown, but I’m better now.  We still good?”

 

Maybe I’m still just being dramatic and even the average ‘Normal Guy’ has these breaks in reason, but I wouldn’t know.  I’ve never considered myself “normal.” 

 

~LDA