Hashtag this, like that, upvote, retweet, just give me some digital recognition. This is the mantra by which we live in the digital generation of self seeking gratification. It’s amazing how every moment of life seems to be based around the likes. I speak for myself but I believe it’s a fair assumption that it’s commonplace to say we all walk this same line.
I slowly roll my Nicaraguan cigar methodically above the amber flame of my sulfur emitting match. I’m no aficionado of cigars, but I find myself embedded amongst the mahogany and leather clad cigar bar nestled along Main Street Cartersville. The aroma is reminiscent of old Havana – coincidently in a lounge aptly named after the Cuban city known for the logs of tobacco, classic cars, and fine coffee.
I’ve never been one to smoke cigars but I find it becoming a pastime of mine, and it’s in this moment I find inspiration for this rambling. Is there anything truly pleasant about smoking a cigar? Not really? Yet here I am…taking a picture with the cigar and placing my yeezys in the frame, seeking some sort of validation. Painting an image that I’m far more sophisticated than I really am. It looks cool but honestly I’m nauseous and regretting sucking down the cigar with every passing second.
The moment is symbolic of the trap I try to avoid – seeking validation for the superficial moment a picture portrays. I want to appear cool, but I just feel sick. I regret it, but I hope you like it.
I did it for the gram…like me, please while I go puke.
I have been told repeatedly that I seem to have a gift for writing. I wouldn’t argue with this, but I seem to have a difficult time understanding how I can apply this “gift” to something substantial or lucrative to be exact. Words are powerful…we all speak them, so what is it that makes my delivery any different than the next man? Syntax is like building with Lincoln logs, words fit or they don’t. This seems pretty elementary to me. I am no Mark Twain, Bukowski, Whitman, or Hitchcock; I respect them as pioneers of the pen and pad but I can’t honestly tell you much of anything they wrote. There is Huck Fin and the murderous love birds, aside from that I just know these are names I am supposed to revere as great (especially if I call myself a “writer”). Writing isn’t something I intellectualize, but I do find that my ego gets a chance to shine when I allow my brain to creatively expel its alphabetic vomit into a graceful paragraph of rambling.
“Write a blog”
“Write a blog” they say, you can really speak to people in away that connects. I have no doubt that I have a knack for speaking to the individual within each of us; but how do I get it out there? The world is more connected now than it has ever been. With this interconnected society of instant messaging, memes, and emojis, it seems as if everyone is talking and nobody is really listening. So, herein lies my dilemma: who really cares what I have to say? Do I truly care? There is nothing vastly different about me…yet my story is designed to be told. I just clickity clack away at the black plastic squares in front of me –wondering if any of this makes any sense. I just keep coming back to the words“you really should write”. I guess this will count as writing.
I am finding that I am becoming consumed mentally by the social media machine, and I hate it. My interests are becoming so narrow, my day is just thumb flipping to the next picture of the car I don’t have, the model who seems to be physically perfect, or the world traveler living out their dream, constantly reminding me of what I wish I had. I am becoming angry, not at the lack of enjoyment in life I have to experience and cherish daily, but at the way we are being conditioned to just dumb down and numb out. Our thinking is now programmed as an algorithm, and the desire to explore is being masqueraded by hashtags and likes. Our minds were meant to be unleashed and explore the dark recesses of the universe: questioning the very complexities of life and how this shit all makes sense. We are supposed to look up at the sky in amazement and wonder how we came to be in such a vast world of celestial magnificence. The advancement of our civilization is pushing me closer to the revelation that I want to go back to a time where things were not so advanced. Back to a time when getting a scar was a right of passage to the cul-de-sac nomads, when curfews were only set by the illuminating of the streetlights. A time when the spot to chill was the green utility box in front of the neighbor’s house; when action figures came to life in our minds, and beanie babies were the cryptocurrency of the suburban day traders. The days when getting clothes lined by the house phone was routine.
Life is so funny…as a kid, all I wanted to do was grow up; as an adult, I want to be a kid again. Is it the ignorance of the world that I desire again, or was life really better before the iGeneration? It’s common to have the prior generation praise the way things were…to now be that generation is sobering in itself.