It’s no small understatement to say western society has lost its way. Whether social media or mainstream media or something else entirely is to blame, we are now trapped in a society of people who cannot tolerate opposing opinions, cannot debate and place more emphasis on “winning” or “being right” than being a reasonable human being.
It is a “me first” mentality where the multitude of platforms available from which to broadcast ones views has fuelled an obsession to be heard and obeyed. (The irony of that statement is not lost on its excessively opinionated writer.)
We’ve become combative and stubborn, but in the worst possible ways. We do so at detriment to ourselves and our happiness.
We clamour over social media, searching desperately for strangers to argue with. We form uninformed opinions and defend them as though our lives depend on it.
In short, we’ve become angry, intolerant idiots.
I say “we” because I myself am as guilty of falling down the rabbit hole of provoking, berating and abusing people online as anyone else I know. At some point there was some gratification to be found by doing so.
But I quickly learned that you can’t change a fools mind by pointing out he is a fool. Call someone an idiot and point out why and all they’ll say back is “fuck you.”
Even then, are these people truly idiots or do they only seem that way because they disagree with me? Well, I think I’m smart so I guess they must be. That’s how it works, right?
In the end, who cares? It’s such a pointless exercise. Yeah, we’re all entitled to our opinions, but no one is obligated to either listen or agree. I think that’s where the trouble begins. When we don’t get the response we want, we turn feral.
Take the marriage equality fiasco from a few years back. Social media was the stomping ground for the most intolerant people in existence. But it was equally bad on both sides of the fence.
The homophobes who sprouted their reasons for voting NO were just as vile as you would imagine. But the militant YES voters had no time for anyone who wasn’t on their side.
In fact, they were probably worse. For people apparently so in favour of equality they acted with a dismal lack of tolerance. Anyone who even suggested they might not vote yes – even the older folks who cited their religious and cultural backgrounds as to why they didn’t think they could vote in favour of gay marriage – was thrown to the wolves and labelled a bigot, a nazi and more.
The worst part was, the most abusive defenders of marriage equality weren’t even gay! Middle age, bored do-gooder women and university students seemed to be the worst offenders, commenting alongside their profile pictures of their heterosexual relationships. Between the homophobes and the virtue signallers it was hard to tell who was more intolerant.
Hooray for social media.
The core of the problem is that too many people care too much about things that don’t matter. We care too much what other people think. We care too much about being right. We care too much about things that don’t affect our day-to-day life.
Which is more or less the reason I voted Yes to marriage equality. I don’t particularly care if gay people want to get married or not, because I’m heterosexual so it has no impact on my life.
But because it has no impact on my life, what reason did I have to stand in their way? Gay marriage doesn’t affect my life, and unless it does in a negative way then I have to reason to oppose it.
Politics in general is a great example. Why should you, dear reader, care about anything politicians say or if there’s an election next week? You shouldn’t, unless they are discussing policy or law that will affect you negatively.
The main reason you should distance yourself from politics is because the politicians don’t care about you. Why should you care about them? They don’t give a fuck about you.
All they care about is getting power, increasing their power, getting your vote and robbing as much of your pay cheque as they can get away with. It’s all money and power to these people. They don’t care about you or your family or your friends.
They’re in it for themselves, so you should be too.
Besides, it makes no difference who you vote for. Sure, you’ll see them promising things like tax cuts to get you to vote for them, but do you really think they’re going to give money back out of the goodness of their heart? Of course not, taxes are like physics. Every tax cut has an equal and opposite tax increase. They just don’t tell you about the second part.
This is true of all politicians. If you’re one of those flag-waving imbeciles who votes for the same party every time and champions their cause, I’ve got news for you, chump. It doesn’t matter which side you’re on. Everything you hate about the guy on the other side of the fence, the guy on your side does it, too. Maybe the execution or tactics differ, but the principle remains the same: less for you, more for them.
So stop caring about politics, it’s a waste of time.
Stop voting, too. Your vote is meaningless. One vote changes nothing, assuming they even count them accurately and honestly.
Think about every election you’ve voted in. How much has your life changed after each one? Exactly.
Now, you might be thinking but wait, this is Australia and voting is compulsory but you’re wrong: getting your name ticked off the electoral roll is compulsory, not voting. Votes are anonymous, so draw a big dick and balls on your ballot paper and walk out. If you’ve gone to a good voting centre they’ll have a sausage sizzle, so at least your visit won’t have been for nothing. It’s better than having the AEC chase you for a fine for not voting. You don’t need that drama in your life, we’re trying to simplify things here.
Generally, just stop caring about things you can’t control. Your favourite footy team. The traffic you’re stuck in. The coworker you’d like to stab. Your job (unless you’re self-employed), because making money for someone else is a waste of your time and energy. The list goes on and on and on.
What you should do is make a shorter list. The Inner Circle list, as I like to call it. Only the things and people that truly matter to you can be on the list. Be ruthless and keep it short.
Your immediate family and their well-being. Your closest friends. Your pets, because animals are better than people so if your pets aren’t on the list you’re a terrible human and they deserve better than to spend their short animal lives with a piece of shit like you. Your hobbies, interests and the pastimes that bring you happiness.
That’s about it. You don’t need much more on the list than that.
Keeping it short means you have more time to dedicate to those people and activities on the list. Most of your life should happen inside your Inner Circle. You’ll be happier, more fulfilled and less likely to waste your life on websites like this one doing things that don’t matter for people who don’t care.
Essentially it’s a method of simplifying your life and cutting out the things and people that waste your time. Prioritise your own happiness and pursue the happiness of those in your circle.
Life is short, so don’t fill it with meaningless shit. Spend your time doing things that benefit you and your circle. If everybody does the same then everyone is taken care of.
The world is full of distractions designed to grab your attention and your money. Don’t be a slave to the system. The system is not designed for your benefit.
Be a slave to your own satisfaction. Be a servant of your circle.
Everything else is meaningless.