Shame on you. That’s not what I meant. I am suggesting that you need to get your head out of the day-to-day FOMO rat trap most of us are caught up in and reconnect with the amazing world around us.
How much time have you spent on social media this week? How many times did you check your phone in the last 24. hours? Is Facebook where your face is more than with the people around you? Did you successfully keep up with today’s trending happenings? Did Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) keep you glued to your screens because you’re, well, afraid of missing out? How many hours of TV did you watch yesterday?
If you identified with this assessment, congratulations! You are exactly what the American tech giants have trained you to be. Or remember that great line in Men In Black “Gentlemen, congratulations. You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training.“
Yes, I’m being harsh for emphasis. But this heads-down, isolated, tech-centric phenomena is recent. It has mostly happened in about the last 10 years. We have allowed ourselves to be deluded. Social media should not be the center of our world. Several other things are much more important. I won’t go into my list, because they represent my values and I am not attempting to sell you on mine. There is, though, one I want to discuss here.
I believe it is more important now than it ever has been to reconnect with the world around us. When did you last take actual time to look at things around you? Have you turned off the radio on your commute and looked out the window? Have you turned off your music and listened to things? When did you last stop to be amazed by a sunset?
Well who am I and what do I have to say about this? I’m nobody important. But I have started doing just what I am recommending. And I am an artist. As an artist, I am in a position to observe the world with a different eye, a different point of view. At this time, my point of view is strongly driven by the theme of reconnecting. I hope to help people along this path.
How do you reconnect with the beautiful world around you? It’s not easy. Just like it is not easy to quit smoking or drinking if you are addicted to those things. Yes, I believe social media and entertainment has become an addiction for many of us. First step is realizing your state. You might actually have to look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say “Hi. I’m _____, and I’m a Facebook addict”.
If you say that to yourself it will help you start to see the situation in a different light. You might look at yourself and realize you just spent another 2 hours on Facebook (or whatever). Now the kids have gone to bed and you didn’t spend time with them or even interact with them much. Lost opportunity, again. But for what? What about that social media was more important than your family?
I recommend a little book by Svend Brinkmann, “The Joy of Missing Out“. Or a similarly named book “The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less“, by Tanya Dalton. (I do not receive any compensation from these). They have the time to express it in much more depth.
What can I offer?
But I’m just an artist. What can I offer you? I can offer images of the amazing world around us. Not vacation shots or selfies at the beach. Rather, thoughtful views of life going on all around us that you do not see unless you slow down and look. Things that help us to remember who we are and where we live.
This kind of art is not just about pretty pictures, although the things we want to reconnect with will typically be pretty. It is something that gives us a shiver. Art like this can cause us to think and remember. It makes us stop and quietly say “wow”. It reminds us of what brings us peace and rest.
Note, I’m not a happiness guru. I am not selling a formula for being happy. I am trying to help you reconnect with the world.
If you surround yourself with images like this it will remind you, every day, what is out there. It will remind you to look and listen, to reconnect with the world.
Check out my images at photos.schlotzcreate.com. Perhaps some of them will resonate with you.