I am unapologetically a lifetime computer geek, although dated in terms of the fast moving world of internet inventions. As a throwback infomaniac to the time of digital innocence, I am one of the best and brightest minds of a utopian generation, a time traveller who put my footsteps down in a sandbox during the earliest emergent era of the information superhighway. Creatives like me were called to “Think Different” and discover our amazing future selves in a brave new world by inventing every new nuance of computers and digital media. We did it. It was our dream, and we sped up at least a few generations of humans in their predestined race to the end of time.
The addiction of screens came easy to me, a sort of love at first sight. There was something awakening and exciting. I felt a satisfying sense of clairvoyance while testing out all the menus of a new computer program, and learning what the programmer was thinking when they made it.
Over the years, so many new ways to learn and spend time became a blur in what I celebrated as a love of lifetime learning. I fancied my purpose in life was to make jobs for artists by teaching them to be literate in the computer arts. I cheered as computers ate the book industry, the music industry, the movie industry, the shopping industry, the financial industry. I still live among icons to the past, surrounded by books, paintings, art and physical workout equipment. But I love knowing how huge is the size of the digital universe contained on my countless hard drives and on the other side of a connected web browser.
Did anything really great come of it, this era introducing smartphones, meet ups and social media? Were we ready for all this accelerated new power, at the cost of the slow and grow aspects of nature and our higher natures? By reinventing ourselves, did we abandon our stewardship of life and tip the balance of survival toward the next great planetary extinction? Or is it true that divinity only delivers the lessons that we are ready for, pilgrims?
What I have found to be true for myself is that, despite loving screens and all the time I spend in front of them, I feel an overwhelm that zaps my curiosity sometimes. I am a computer game addict. By the way I squander my screen time, I must admit that apparently, unconsciously, I much prefer the type of dopamine hit carefully planted by programmers devoted to computer game addiction than the more cultured accomplishments of reading, tweeting, painting, animating, video editing, researching… all the great things an intelligent person can do if they follow their prefs while clicking through and posting to the digital universe.
I am antisocial in an age social media, which I shun in dislike of too many distractions from strangers and even friends embracing the skills of constant demand for attention. Wanting more control of the type of attention I engage, I lurk on facebook more than I post. I neglect my websites and social profiles for years, disregard hundreds of requests for following or friending. Instead, I crush blocks, sort aces through kings, or of late, create characters in role playing games. I love it, but in terms of creating, we are talking major waste of time. Eye candy, light show, bells and music loops… there is something temporarily pleasant that is free of trolls, money sucks, and con artists.
Now, I have done my writing assignment for this morning, Back to another game of solitaire before breakfast. Hmmm. Why do I love thee? Why?