How to live in the 21st century

Is everything terrible because of globalization, capitalism, or technology?

I was playing a videogame a minute ago (no, i’m not just going to talk about videogames this post), and I realized: video games in 2018 suck. They suck ass. A lot of people tell me I’m dead wrong, and that they’re better than ever. We’ve got smart phones, along with all their myriad apps, so we can be connected in one of just about a billion different entertaining ways, and the economy is booming, or so they say. I wouldn’t know, because a lot of people in my neighborhood are still struggling to get by. Every consumer product (digital or physical) is made to ship out to every region with minimal modifications and created to appeal to as wide a global audience as possible.

But here’s a thought: maybe things are better than ever, but since we live in a constant and nonstop deluge of new and fantastic technological wonders we almost have a duty to be entertained from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. We have to get everything right-fucking-now and the-best-it’s-ever-been. But for how long can this be sustained? I think we’re losing our collective minds. Maybe I’m just a weird one because I sit around and think of these things all day, but think about what’s happening to our collective culture: We fritter away every single free moment on our phones, but what does this do to our subconscious?

You’ve probably seen all the articles online about this, about how cell phones are rotting your brain, and you can’t pay attention to anything and it’s ruining your life. But I’m not here to talk about your brain. I’m here to talk about something much more important: your soul.

If we’re going to talk about the soul there’s something you should know. I’m an atheist; I don’t believe in god and if you proved god real I’d probably just ignore you. Call it a ‘childish insistence on self determination’. But I do believe that all ideas have to exist somewhere, even if that somewhere is nowhere. Think of it this way: is 2+2=4 something that humans invented, or is it something we discovered?

Philosopher Georg Wilhel Friedrich Hegel once wrote that:

“To begin with, we must note that world history goes on within the realm of Spirit. The term “world” includes both physical and psychical nature. Physical nature does play a part in world history, and from the very beginning we shall draw attention to the fundamental natural relations thus involved. But Spirit, and the course of its development, is the substance of history. We must not contemplate nature as a rational system in itself, in its own particular domain, but only in its relation to Spirit.” (Hartman 1)

So just what the fuck does any of that mean?!

Well, think of it this way: There’s the physical parts of the world: Rocks, trees, water, dirt, heroine, candy bars, smart phones, Ect. But there’s something much more critical at work in our daily lives, which we seem to be missing: our souls.

Right now we live like rats: we sit in our 9-5 cages (if we’re lucky enough to have a job) but more and more we only think about the physical: that next rush of endorphins from getting a mega-whatever in Candy Crush, getting all the likes we can on our Instagram post. But what about our souls? What about that part of you that’s deeper than the itch to check how many likes you’ve gotten since you last checked? What about the quiet inner voice that whispers to you “You’re wasting your life away”. Why isn’t there a billion dollar industry dedicated to that? There is, and it’s called religion. But why don’t we have a religion for atheists? Maybe we do. Maybe it’s just a matter of being awake: of living every day fully engaged, and not anesthetizing yourself from the stress of life.

Works Cited:

Hartman, Robert S. “General Introduction to the Philosophy of History”. marxists.org, The Bobbs-Merill Company, Inc. 1953, https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hi/introduction.htm

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