You Choose Where You Live.
People wouldn’t stop talking to me.
I’d wake up, and without fail; tons of emails, lots of updates on Facebook, snapchat stories, news, some LinkedIn tips.
Everyone wanted me to see what they had going on.
OK ok, guys I know you want me to see your thing or whatever. Can you all slow down a bit so I can read each of these?
I see the CAPS and these red dots + buzzing sounds everywhere but I’m having a hard time keeping up.
I signed in on Facebook and apparently my ex-girlfriend had a great time a the bar last night and someone else wanted to tell me that “Biggest exam of my life today pray for me” and another friend said “All I want in life is Chipotle and to not have to go to Statistics today.” Hmm good to know.
Then there were news anchors coming onto my T.V. trying to tell me about Bolivia or the Greece economic crisis. Why does he want to tell me these things so bad? Maybe his mission in life is to tell me about economic crisis?
I tried to live in this world. People said “subscribe!” so I said ok. People said “Need response ASAP” so I typed a response. “Join my thing!” Yes, sure. “You didn’t see my cat pictures on Facebook?” Oh sorry, I, I mean I think I did, what’s his name again? “You mean HER name?!”
I suppose they were all just “sharing.”
Sharing means, “what’s yours, is mine now, too.” And that includes your shit. Maybe tomorrow I’ll show up in the news anchors living room and throw him some of my shit (Not literally). Of course there’s a lot of positive sharing, but the amount we have to sift to find it is incredible.
And we people please by obliging. Or we accept them because they are offered. But mostly we just let it in, without thinking about it. On the internet there’s no front door, no security system, and everyone has our address. Osmosis by lack of design.
And it started getting destructive. Not just to my productivity, but to my mood, and to my optimism, and how I see myself in the world. I want to listen to you all but it’s getting really noisy. Deafening even! I’m at this huge party and I’m shouting, “I CAN’T HEAR ANYBODY CAN YOU HEAR ME??”
After awhile I had to revaluate and decided to build my own home, from scratch. Throw out the rules and create them a new. You have to define it all yourself.
Invent it. Set up filters and laws for yourself. Quit things. I quit Facebook. I quit news. I quit live TV. I quit friends. I quit foods. I quit watching advertising. It’s amazing how many red dots I still have popping up even after quitting those things.
You choose who gets to be in your community. You can choose which customers you serve. What critics you decide to pay attention to. What you watch. Who you hang out with. What you measure as success.
An email is not an obligation. A criticism doesn’t need to be heard. Someone said something mean but you can say; “IT’S TOO NOISY WHAT DID YOU SAY?”
One time in high school I got a C on an art project. It was art, who’s to say? I should have taken a red marker and drew a huge A at the top. Now that’s some fucking art, man.
Build your own bubble. But you don’t have to live alone, you can build a community with some new rules. I want to hear from people. I like to talk with people. I just want to do more of that, without some of the extra stuff. I want to create the “anything is possible, meaningful people I deeply care about community.”
I want to listen deeply, but to do so I have to clear up the noise.