The proliferation of smart devices (phones, PC, tablets, etc) has transformed how content is served and consumed. People spend an incredible amount of time watching, scrolling, or browsing on the Internet. For brands and content creators, this has become a gateway to customer engagement. And, for people, this content is a powerful source of information, entertainment, and education.
Digital content is everywhere. It is being produced all the time. You can’t keep up with it no matter how much you read or watch or surf. For instance, 500 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute. You can do the math for the whole of the Internet.
From cinema to literature and education to news, everything has turned digital now. A major part of your life is spent on content consumption. This time, if utilized, can enrich your life. But, for that, you have to realize that you are wasting your time consuming mindless content.
Digital content is typically marketed as something that will improve your life, make you more informed. You are under the impression that content consumption will help you gain the motivation or the knowledge you need to achieve your dreams. But mindless consumption makes you forget what is really important and what is not. Addicted to the unreal consumption, you practically make zero efforts to move towards what is real in life…the existential reality.
Besides, the digital content hypnotizes you and you form beliefs that aren’t real. The intensity of information and hollow pleasures received digitally desensitize you to the real world and its charm. You are separated from real life happiness and fulfillment. Once you’re in the illusion, it’s hard to get out. The algorithms are designed to stimulate the brain and keep you hooked.
You are always connected to and using multiple screens. You seamlessly move from one piece of content on one device to another. There is this persistent urge to check your mail and social media notifications. You want to know which influencer posted what, what is the popular online fad, the latest twitter trends…everything.
You want constant dopamine release which digital content provides so easily. These content consumption patterns have severe implications on your ability to focus. Marketers, content creators using algorithms play with your mind, with your focus.
Get over the mindless, stimulus consumption
The first step would be adhering to moderation. Anything in excess is harmful and digital content is no exception. Denote fixed hours of the day to content consumption. And most importantly, curate content before you dive in. Select content that you need to ingest to achieve your goals. Say no to digital wandering.
Your mind sees no limit. Using the power of imagination, you can pursue whatever reality you want. You can visit imagined realms your whole life, you can consume endless content, and think this is the purpose of your life but that won’t be. The existential reality is fixed and finite. Your purpose in existence is a part of this existential reality. You have to align yourself and all your activities with the same.
The second step is knowing yourself, your goals, and your purpose. Mindful content consumption starts with awareness about your existential reality as a human being. Once you know what your actual needs are as a human being, you will focus on content that matches them.
- Your needs as a physical body are temporary, satiable, & quantifiable. The physical body only needs nourishment and safety. Nature has made you capable enough to arrange both. If the content is helping you arrange either of two, it is essential and you must invest yourself in the same.
- Your needs as consciousness, as the soul are permanent and qualitative. The needs of the soul are love, trust, truth, happiness, and experiences. The soul is here to experience bliss and create memories with others that can be relieved. Content causing panic, depression, stimulation, or not helping in building good memories is not worth your time and must be avoided. You should delve into things that excite your spirit, at the same time are valid and enlightening.
The better you understand yourself and your needs, the better equipped you are to make mindful choices. Be it content consumption or any other facet of life.
The purpose of life is something that mankind has been trying to find for ages but couldn’t. Society is teaching you what it has accumulated over the years, most of which is unfounded and wrong. You are devoid of meaning and purpose in life, you look at things that divert your attention from your real calling. You consume digital drugs that keep you excited and motivated, except that your false happiness fades away too soon and you keep jumping from one thing to another.
Whether you love it or hate it, digital content, social media is a tool that cannot be avoided in this time and age. It’s up to you to make an intentional choice about the role it plays in your lives.
Current belief ~ Always keep up with the latest trends and fads in the online world.
In popular culture ~ In this excellently articulated feature, Stephen Moore writes in detail about social media. In the article, he makes the point that social media can show the ‘Real’ you.
As per the philosophy of coexistence, Human beings chase wrong things and stick to false identity because they are not enlightened about their default purpose and role in this existence. When the knowledge of existential reality becomes clear, invalid and false speculations about life will disappear from literature and other forms of digital media.
Like every element in this existence, be it a stone or a river or an insect or an animal, humans too have a definite role and purpose in this existence. Except that unlike other creatures and elements, human beings perceive this world with intelligence (with the eyes of knowledge). Society and culture so far have not been able to provide individuals with the knowledge of the existential reality of human beings including their role and purpose in the existence.