As I wrote in the previous entry, each morning I sit down with a few books, a cup of coffee, and I start writing. After I read, I think and write.
The quality of the output isn’t high. Quality isn’t the point. My output is rough, half-baked. But these creative outputs are somehow better, more refined, and more interesting than the output that would occur after reading/browsing popular sites on the web.
Intellectually, we are what we eat. And social media is fast food. It is a system for delivering cheap, high-calorie, and low-nutrition intellectual content. It is over-processed, unhealthy. What you get one day, on one social media site is the same as you’d get any other day, on any other site. Sure, there might be some healthy options here and there. But overall it is something that should be avoided.
Sitting down with writers like Joseph Brodsky and Aldo Leopold (have you heard of them, I wonder?) is like sitting down for a proper meal. The same could be said about sitting down with the work of photographers like Sergio Larrain and Bill Brandt (again, I wonder if you’ve heard these names before?). Sitting down with a feed is less nourishing and wholesome.1
In general, social media is a roulette wheel of crap. Spin the wheel. The house always win. What you’ll lose is time, ambition, creativity, self-worth, data, and maybe a few brain cells.
I think it was Anthony de Mello who said that our central nervous systems are like computer systems. Our eyes are webcams with IBIS, our ears are like microphones. A brain is like a system-on-a-chip, a circuit that manages memory, communications, processing, storage, etc. Our languages and our cultures are the operating systems that get “installed” into our brains. Throughout our lives, we are constantly installing new software (knowledge, experience, languages, ideologies, etc.) that help us interpret and make sense of the world.
What software do you want to install onto your system? Which websites and developers do you trust?
I wonder if books share more DNA with social media than we like to admit, as old-school and long-form feeds of word and image. ↩︎