Finding True Self Amid Digital Hue and Cry
A human being is a blend of a life-atom or soul which adopts a physical body to gain enlightenment. The body needs nourishment and protection, and the soul needs understanding and experience through the body. Understanding the existential reality, i.e. coexistence and contributing efforts to the same is the purpose of human existence.
The self-reliant human being of the 21st century powered by the digital world is obsoleting notions like- ‘coexistence,’ ‘collective behavior,’ etc. Fuelled by endless opportunities for self-promotion and self-reflection on social media, today’s generation is more idiosyncratic, assertive, strong-willed — and at the same time more confused than ever.
Owing to the rapid technological and socioeconomic changes in the last few years, the global culture has placed greater emphasis on self-esteem than self-learning. The personalities have become more individualistic and self-obsessed laced with loneliness.
In the parallel universe of the digital world, the selfie-snapping youngsters aggressively portray the highlights of their lives. They find their purpose and value in the number of “likes” or “shares.” The ideas and beliefs of this contemporary generation depend on what makes them likable and popular. Excessive dependence on this instant gratification and validation has turned people into marketers of their own public persona in the digital world.
The illusion of existential freedom in the digital age is pushing individuals into a fluid amalgam of the real world identity and digital identity. This flawed individualism is viewed through a materialistic and self-sufficiency lens, rather than one that touches all levels of society. It ignores another paradigm entirely that we are all connected and the way is to appreciate that connection. Participating and discharging our role in a system larger than ourselves, we can achieve continuing happiness for all.
The digital identity offers a flexible self-definition and an enticing parallel reality. Users are traced and served more and more of ideologies that make them happy and fit into their perceived reality. This shuts the door on constructive discourses and different opinions, causing people to see their ignorance as the actual reality.
Whether we understand or do not understand, we get involved with the relationships, with the social fabric of human beings that we are born into.
The collective identity is limited and compartmentalised. In existence there is holistic interdependence between every element. The order and system is already there and the need is to recognize it.
This generation has a very little attention span, wanting constant stimulation at every waking moment of life. The dopamine levels brought about by incessant bombardment of the digital drug are beyond normal levels, that most people simply can’t find contentment in.
Devoid of meaning or purpose in life, people are focused on satiating illusory needs at the cost of self-reflection. People devote a considerable amount of time abiding by public persona while little to no time is spent in understanding themselves, and the purpose of existence. Instant approval in the illusory digital world has shut people off from the actual wisdom of coexistence and collective harmonious survival.
Wisdom comes from knowing life has multiple aspects and viewing it from all sides. When people are cut off from the existential reality of coexistence with everyone, they get trapped unknowingly in an illusory echo chamber that their perceived reality creates.
This generation has beliefs like “life is short, don’t waste time on something you don’t understand.” It looks like a pretty good thought on the surface, but it lacks depth. Holistic understanding in alignment with existential reality is the only way forward. This can be achieved when a human being can observe the greater system of interconnectedness all around him.
Human beings are born pure and capable of forming opinions based on the knowledge they imbibe from society. The right knowledge should be distributed to make the earth a better place by using available resources.
Instead of letting the virtual world turn people into shadowy facades, the Internet can be used as a tool to distribute knowledge. Once the critical mass of good and open people is connected, there will be coexistence, harmony, and happiness.