You Best Read On

I saw a quote on a friend’s Facebook wall the other week that read “I want to punch your inspirational quote in the face”.

I thought about it for some time after.

Then I googled some inspirational quotes. I even logged into Pinterest and read hundreds of ‘pinned’ quotes.

There were many that were centuries old. Many that were derived from scriptures and religions. Many from poets and authors and dreamers and thinkers of all kinds. There were few I hadn’t already read. Few I hadn’t tried to live by as a young girl.

Inspirational quotes aren’t news to anyone, but the thing that has made me stop and think so much about my friend’s ‘anti-inspirational’ quote is the very place she’s posted it. Facebook.

I believe our modern, tech-savvy lifestyles are rewarding immediacy over applied perseverance; rewarding quick, superficial gains which in turn, and rather ironically, makes many of the social’ised quotes hypocritical. Hypocritical to their very core because while we’re all well aware of the perseverance things worth achieving actually takes, (at least I hope we’re all aware), more often than not, we’re happy to take the short-cut out.

The epitome of these short-cuts being oxymorons like “Live authentically”, which is captioned under a photo of a hot girl on a beach then posted to millions of paid-for ‘followers’ and subsequent paid-for ‘likes’ on {insert social media channel here}.

I recently read an article which suggested 92% of people who set goals, fail. Because, according to the article; goals either “define your limits or aren’t realistic”. We should instead be turning our focus to change and progress rather than fixed results…(there’s that pesky perseverance thing again). You can read the article here: http://bit.ly/2iUYxg0

What has the world come to when people are posting things that they clearly have no connection with, and then putting them out to fake friends they’ve bought. This does not amount to business sales, genuine relationships, or your own self worth and growth. It does not tell the world you’re happy, living truthfully or that you’re a fly by the seat of your pants type hippy. Cue #fitspo #liveclean.

It does the exact opposite. It diffuses your true self and enhances your false self. This, as history has demonstrated with fallen narcissistic leaders and disgraced influencers – doesn’t work. You will not find your happiness this way. Of this, I am sure.

Is this important? Yes, it is important. The world is in constant chaos because the people that run it are emotionally immature, insecure – and searching for outside validation. What is power? it’s merely the control and one-upmanship over another. What has the world achieved in terms of peace using these measures? is it working?

I had a long conversation over the new year with a friend I camped with. She uses no social media and is very private. This is her choice and I respect it. For her, social media is a negative experience and is not conducive to her wants and values. Just as she respects that my work and passions lend themselves to using social media. But I believe that intent and purpose are the driving factors that should be omnipotent in your relationship with social media. Is it a healthy experience for your life or is it distracting from your true values, or defining your decisions?

Social media has been a revelation to many and launched many careers. There are countless incredible accounts which have given us that all important spark of imagination or needed motivation. All of these things are wonderful – but know where the line is and where it is for you. What are your driving factors?

On the the flipside of our ability to now mass-express, we should think about whether our capabilities to interact and communicate with others on more intricate levels are suffering. How we communicate with each other has been said to be 90% body language.
An early girlfriend of Steve Jobs said that while he created something that connected the whole world, he himself couldn’t make a connection with anyone on a personal level.

What happens to our relationships when conversations are replaced with emojis?

Are we losing the subtle intricacies that come from a look or slight movement? Are we losing our attention to detail, our ability to focus or our imaginations that used to be forced to build colour, people and stories amongst the pages of brilliant writers.

And in the words of one of my favourite writers, Sixto Rodriguez, I wonder.
Is this all just our way of coping with the world’s crumbling lack of etiquette, manners, moral codes and common decency? – or is it the cause of it?

Are we so afraid to be sad, bad, wrong, uncool, uncouth – or a combination of all of these that we have to fake a light and happy existence because we’ve skipped past the nuances of the quotes we’re reading and their implied perseverance and jumped right on to the (seemingly) quick fix happy?

Happiness. To me anyway, is a habit. It’s a choice and it’s an applied perseverance. It’s not a blessed or perfect life and it’s not a social post. It’s not immediate and it’s not fleeting. It’s not dependent on outside factors or likes. I am not Buddha and I am not Gandhi, I don’t have the answers – but I feel like paying more attention to the here and now, the people who are actually behind the technology (that’s us by the way) – might help create some lasting happy habits of my own.

Happy New Year.

Follow me on HuffPost

Instagram