The Opiate of Connection

Almost 1 year of no writing.

This is the age of consumer-created content where every person can become a publisher and reach a worldwide audience. Publishing is trivial. Set up a blog (if you’re stuck in the 90s) or a twitter account (if you’re more of the age) – and there you go. Consumption is even easier; all you need to do is lounge on your sofa and immerse your mind in an endless info-stream to sterilize your mind.

The very technology that allowed me to blog now seems to be killing my desire (or ability) to write. Consuming is so easy. Its tempting to think that reading the tens of thousands of snippits pushed onto my Android phone, iPad and laptop every day somehow make me smarter. That I will someday find use for Vintage Hemingway Wallpaper, Milstein Hall, Warhol Rules or Anna Dello Russo. There is a case to be made for learning for learning’s sake. But do these bits of fleeting data constitute knowledge? Entertainment – yes. Knowledge? I’m not sure.

The internet is rewiring our mind – some would say that its making us stupid.

Most of our groundbreaking ideas seem to occur out of nowhere. The aha moment in the shower. The unexpected insight in the kitchen. Or the flash of inspiration at a desolate beach. It doesn’t occur when you have 10 different streams clamoring for attention. Tweets, notifications, texts, blackberry pings and farmville alerts – they dull you into a vegetative state with a drip-feed of toxic nutrients.

I guess that explains a year of no writing. I’m too content with consuming to create. Too hooked-on to the opiate of connection.

-Adnan

28 thoughts on “The Opiate of Connection

  1. the Jaywalker

    Well, one can get good ideas and aha moments from reading blogs and the content one is subscribed to. The main hindrance, in my opinion, is the “attention span.”

    To do anything meaningful, and ground breaking, requires a lot of focus—a completely different state of mind, where you immerse yourself into the problem; while others might see you walking and doing regular day chores, your mind would be occupied by the idea (or the problem itself if you haven’t cracked it yet).

    Something related was said by Paul Graham sometime back (sorry for adding something more in your reading list :)): http://paulgraham.com/head.html

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