[ 2 min read ]
The one thing which, apart from writing each day, I discovered has a soothing effect on me is (still — it has not changed) listening to interviews with artists and watching documentaries about art.
I find such soothing effect a blessing in this era of constant bombardment with messages which tell people that conventional success is the thing each one of us should care about, dream about and chase, that anyone can earn a lot of money, that anyone can have a great body, that anyone can run a marathon, that anyone can start a YouTube channel or Instagram account and become an influencer and millionaire within a few years, that success really isn’t a complicated thing — it’s a simple equation, that being somebody should be your goal in life, that staying you will not guarantee becoming a somebody, that in this day and age people worthy of recognition, respect, and praise are those who made it one way or another, that opportunities (to do something big, spectacular, for which they will eventually be presented an award) open up for people each day and one really must not want to take advantage of them (be a lazy person or someone who is simply too dumb), that it’s all there in plain sight (the success formula), people only need to really want to do it and be ready to pay the price, that in this new world we have the access to the tools and technology past generations could only dream about, if they could imagine it.
I get this feeling that it starts to be more annoying than keeping up with the Joneses, which was what most people of the pre-social media world cared about. Although I realize that keeping up with the Joneses isn’t going anywhere either as one of people’s obsessions in life. I think keeping up with the Joneses has to some degree (not small) moved to the Internet (social media), and also what they keep up with has also changed (already a lot, and I think it will continue to evolve).
Keeping up with the Joneses changed from being a mere competition on better cars, houses, city districts, TV sets, sound systems, clothes, college major choices, college choices, careers, titles, positions, to being this classic competition (it isn’t going anywhere — I guess these are the things the majority of people still care greatly about), plus a new competition on experiences, adventures, transformations / metamorphoses, goals, pursuits, passions, talents, bucket lists, awareness, ditching your 9–5 grind, doing what you love in life, not having to work, having a great romantic relationship, finding true love, becoming the true version of yourself, being an aware parent who read everything there was to read on raising children, making sure your children will never have to work below a managerial position, and what not.
Fuck! It’s still keeping up with the Joneses. All of it. Only what we keep up with changes.