On Being a Human Being

Here is a useful, albeit somewhat confessional piece by columnist and blogger Andrew Sullivan: Technology almost killed me.

He was “successful” in the online world, but that pursuit came at many costs, including his health. He realized his online life came at the expense of his real one, and that that there was no way to fully have both:

If the internet killed you, I used to joke, then I would be the first to find out. Years later, the joke was running thin. In the last year of my blogging life, my health began to give out. Four bronchial infections in 12 months had become progressively harder to kick. Vacations, such as they were, had become mere opportunities for sleep. My dreams were filled with the snippets of code I used each day to update the site. My friendships had atrophied as my time away from the web dwindled. My doctor, dispensing one more course of antibiotics, finally laid it on the line: “Did you really survive HIV to die of the web?”

And before you think this story is yet another cautionary tale from an exasperated Luddite, consider all the evidence that the internet, and social media in particular, is leaving us more unfulfilled, more depressed, more alienated, more delusional, more narcissistic, and more addicted.

Consider, to bring this idea out of the clouds of the abstract, how many times you’ve checked your phone or opened another browser or even wrote an email in the time it took to glance over this post. And you’re already online.



2 thoughts on “On Being a Human Being

  1. Dude, again with this decadent rhetoric? It’s been a few months since I last came here to put you in your place, and our little exchange was even about this anti-technology debacle! I’d think you’d have gone beyond that by now!

    There’s basically nothing wrong with a few losers arming themselves with their tools. It has always happened and it will always happen. This however says more about the losers than about the usefulness of technology. The reason smartphones, and the internet, came to dominate is because these things are awesome, period.

    If these things are making you depressed, or narcissistic, or unfulfilled, or whatever — complaining about it is the least productive thing you can do about this low condition of yours. Complaining is even counter-productive if you will believe me (and your friend Nietzsche, btw).

    Which leads me to a more important issue. Stop everything you’re doing. Save up some money and just fly away to some distant country. Stay there a few months and read nothing else besides Nietzsche. You clearly like his texts, and you’re not completely retarded (like 99% of the planet’s population seems to be), so do yourself a favour and don’t waste away your brain with stupid prejudices and non-problems.

  2. And I mean, even you subconscious is telling you to do exactly this. There is a reason you are complaining after all, so these smartphones and little flashing LED screens are obviously affecting you negatively. But from this you cannot extrapolate that they are evil or universally harming everyone or whatever, is what I’m telling you. So stop what you’re doing, go travel and sober up. And all these psychological incapacities of yours are all probably stemming from a rotten and weak body, btw. So go work on that and go exercise and eat properly. Destroy your muscles everyday for a few months, eat good food (no sugar, etc.), read Nietzsche and go walk around and talk to anyone who’s passing by in whatever city you decide to live in for the next 3 or so months.

    If you are training like an Olympian 3 hours everyday; if you are reading and thinking like a philosopher another 3 hours everyday; if you are traveling, exploring, meeting and befriending people another 3 hours everyday; if you are forcing yourself to eat properly another 3 hours everyday; if you are relaxing at an internet café 3 hours everyday; and if you are sleeping 8 hours everyday, you’ll have much more important things to worry about on your rest time (which will be, like, 1 hour/day) than some losers addicted to colored pixels.

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