Fear of missing out

The constant interruptions and distractions of our society are, to me, the opposite of philosophy. Getting caught up in minutiae. Getting caught up in things that don’t matter. Getting caught up in things that are designed to exploit and antagonize us and our emotions.

~ Ryan Holiday from, https://ryanholiday.net/stop-watching-the-news/

The way out from the chaos is to first convince yourself that you are in chaos, and to then decide you don’t like the current situation.

It will not work for you to try taking a hiatus from all the distractions. If you try, (just some “for examples” here,) to put your phone down during dinner, or to have a no-internet weekend with your partner, or no internet-surfing in the bedroom, etc., these small diversions from your normal existence will be uncomfortable. So of course you won’t want that small discomfort to grow larger! And there you go; that’s the exact opposite of how you would expand the tranquility in your life. If—somehow—you deeply wanted more tranquility, then you would automatically do all those things I mentioned and many, many more.

The other day I drove to my favorite gym only to discover they were closed that day. It happens that this was announced on Facebook. (I’m not on Facebook.) This experience was not the least bit annoying to me. I drove 20 minutes each way. The ride was pleasant; Just like every other time I drive in a car because I long ago resolved the issues with myself which caused driving and riding in cars to be annoying. I did not begrudge that 40 minutes as “wasted,” and I simply went on to the next thing I wanted to do.

I’m not railing against Facebook. I’m pointing out that if you fix your life, Facebook no longer has an attraction for you.

You are not obligated to be constantly reachable.

You are not obligated to have an opinion on every topic someone might raise in conversation.

You are not obligated to help every other person you physically or virtually encounter.

What obligations do you have?

What do you truly desire?

What is the meaning of life?

Actually… are those even the right questions to ask oneself?