Don’t Dream It’s Over

This morning, a lot of things disappointed me.

Some of them I was able to put into words. Others were not as easily corralled. Absolutely the best thing that could have happened then did so and necessity forced body away from Social media completely to go do some important stuff with my daughter. It was even better for everybody that she got Friday afternoon off.

The only way sometimes to counteract the pure toxicity Twitter can generate is to not use it. This has nothing at all to do with contentious topics or difficult discussions, and everything around the fact that, like it or not, it is not a complete version of reality. Thinking that the future somehow involves this and everything else wrapped up in a version of reality isn’t quite the truth either. At some point in the future, when someone looks back to this moment and considers it to represent ‘the good old days’ it will be time to point out to them that it’s a lie. Everything is subjective. Absolutely everything.

The present is where everybody needs to live more.

Without rehashing old ground or trying to make people who clearly don’t listen to do just that, all the issues in our lives right now are often far more easy to solve than is at first apparent. The key, undoubtedly, is an ability to step outside of ourselves and look inwards with a more objective eye than exists in the storm you’ve just left. Watching total strangers proclaim what terrible things they’ve done in order to court reaction sits uneasily beside the real-life tragedies of those who just stopped caring and gave up. For some, it is more important to hate than heal, or hurt rather than forgive. This has been no different for thousands of years. The key now is that you can be a fuckwit on one side of the world and someone on the other side gets to attack you with more vitriol than was ever possible previously.

Oh, what a brilliant thing modern life has become.

know_nothing

I feel that everybody should now be made to take mandatory leave from the Internet for a sense of proportion. Anyone getting too emotionally invested needs to take a reality break, which involves somewhere with somebody they care about, and the chance to talk about nothing in particular. Most importantly of all, anyone using Social media to further an agenda needs to be far more comprehensively vetted than is currently the case.

These are the good old days, right now, that we’re all pissing up the wall because nobody grasps the real damage being done to society from the ability to say what we want when we want it, and not worry about the consequences

I Don’t Like Mondays

Learning how to take criticism is a life-long journey. Sometimes, it is simpler as a writer to just switch off and ignore everybody, but there are also moments in the development process where the right commentary can completely alter the momentum of a project. For many successful writers, Social media is a place you simply don’t go to. There’s a very good reason for that, and it is seen every day, often with quite depressing regularity from the same group of destructive, morally ambiguous users. Those who now feel their voice is more important than anything else, and will comment relentlessly on anything which they feel an opinion is warranted on, are slowly eroding away centuries of conventions that have kept many institutions afloat.

Criticism relies on some fundamental principles to remain relevant and useful.

Philosophy underpins much of what I am: it should be the same for everybody, but for some, all that matters undoubtedly, is the self and nothing more. Having a reasonable debate with such people can become impossible face to face, so one anonymity is introduced the entire delicately balanced structure will come crashing down. If you don’t grasp the basic concept of the Social Contract, I’d urge taking some time on Wikipedia and other sources to learn about Jean-Jacques Rousseau, because this is a fundamental part of existence that really does matter quite a lot, and extends into pretty much every aspect of our current lives.

Grasping criticism effectively comes from the realisation that your work and your ego are two different things. A criticism of content is not a personal attack, just as a disagreement over ideas or beliefs should not become a fight. Once one is able to establish basic tenets of existence (everyone is equal, regardless of sex, ethnicity and religious belief) all of this should be a simple, hassle-free process. However, that’s not been the case for… well, since that bloke came down a mountain with a bunch of carved tablets which were supposed to keep everybody in check.

Rules only have relevance if everybody sticks by them.

In reality, with so many people now granted a voice that can be heard in places that would never previously have been the case, the rules of our Social Contract on Social media are distorting and warping. Lies and truth become the same thing because individuals are unable to distinguish where one starts and the other ends. Is this country an enemy, or a friend? Is this leader asking for peace because they want it, or have circumstances dictated the need to change direction? What set of circumstances have pushed this movement to emerge now, and why did this not happen years previously? So much of life is filled with questions, yet few people take the time or thought to consider the answers.

Most days, people complain about what upsets them the most.

April 14-20th is Mental Awareness Week, and it is really rather important that everybody, regardless of their own personal issues, grasps how society as a whole is contributing to slow, overall disintegration by refusing to think outside our own lives and issues. Criticism should be an essential part of the creative process, and yet so many people now refuse to take the concept on board. Without it, you will never grow and improve, but most importantly of all, you will lose respect from those who, in many cases, simply wish to help and support.

Learning to deal with contention, now more than ever before is vital to developing as a better human being.