The Tempo of Reality VS Social Media

Look up your favorite song on YouTube, and then hit the little gear icon in the lower right corner of the video-window (settings), and adjust the playback speed to “2”. Now try to listen to your favorite song and enjoy it. Do you enjoy it as much? Why? What’s changed?

The only difference is time. Tempo. Pace. The spaces between the notes, beats, and words. That’s the only difference, but it makes an enormous impact. In fact, in some cases, it makes ALL the difference.

Social media is designed to remove all “the spaces between” – it’s a rapid-fire highlight reel of people, politics, pop, tragedy, emotion, frustration, anger, and hate. It compresses people, events, and timelines into small bites so you can just continually binge without realizing how much you’ve consumed.

In real life, you get to know people slowly over time. You learn about ideas at your own pace, or through practice. You are made aware of events, tragedies, and politics at the rate at which they directly affect you, and you’re given space to process, consider, and when necessary, experiment and/or course-correct.

I don’t think our chemically-controlled meat-brains have caught up to the speed at which we’re now forcing them to digest reality, nor in the portions that we’re shoving down our own throats, and social media is the trough that we willingly shoves our heads into, lapping up whatever we find there, or drowning ourselves in familiar comforts to ignore what makes us uncomfortable about the real world.

I say all of this even as I’m doing it – as I’m sitting here wondering why I’ve gotten so anxious – so stressed – so disappointed and frustrated with what I perceive as reality, when in reality, what I’m seeing is a version of the world that’s had its playback speed turned all the way up… and I realize that I enjoy it a lot less at this speed.

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