Internet – especially social media – is a goddamned hall of twisted mirrors. It’s a symbolic, cultural labyrinth separating us from real-world happiness.
And yes, Vanholio is well aware of the irony in him taking this position. He struggles with it daily.
See, here’s the thing: I love social media, I love being on the computer. And yet, when I spend too much time on there, I become an angry motherfucker.
And no, Vanholio doesn’t get into flame wars. He mostly likes sharing snarky memes on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ and the like … He’s also thrilled to explore new ideas on assorted blogs and websites. No active online conflicts for him!
Yet when I put the computer down, I’m miserable and dissatisfied with my life.
Then Vanholio starts scheming. How to solve this misery, how to find satisfaction? Why with money and social status, of course! It’s then that I start churning over PLANS to entrap security and happiness with some business, career, or investment.
It’s keeping up with the Joneses, even though I have no fucking idea who the Joneses are or why the fuck I want to keep up with them.
That’s what’s insidious about this online symbolic culture. That’s why Green Anarchy folks are suspicious of it:
... but the symbolic mode of expression and understanding is certainly limited and its overdependence leads to objectification, alienation, and a tunnelvision of perception.
No fucking joke!
But some days a miracle happens: I park Buttermilk somewhere with no Internet access. I look at the sky. I listen to the wind. I sleep. …
After detoxing off social media a few days in camp, I start to know my butt from a hole in the ground again. I become happy. I become relaxed. I stop worrying about money and status. I forget all the fuck about the fucking Joneses and their fucking Facebook posts.
So Vanholio says, Spend less time listening to online babble and more time listening to babbling brooks.