Friday, July 29, 2022

My latest column: “On Choosing the Good News”

On Choosing The Good News

July 28, 2022


I’ve taken to walking for exercise at night to avoid the intense and damaging rays of the summer sun lately. On my outings, I typically see very few others outside also taking advantage of the clement evening weather. Perhaps one or two individuals at most. Often I find myself somewhat eerily alone. There are many good ways to spend free time, but I believe research would bear out my thesis that many spend a large portion of their day away from work in front of screens.

There will always be bad news. Thanks to our ever-present devices and Internet we can treat ourselves to a steady stream of negativity all day long every day. That is one way of using connectivity. There will always be somebody else, someplace else, more beautiful, exotic, or interesting than where we find ourselves at any given moment. There will always be someone younger, better looking, richer, or seemingly happier than we think ourselves to be. The images, voices, and other data available on the Internet merely confirm this to be true.

What the Internet cannot ever replicate is our own lives in which we encounter the irreplaceable beauty of immediacy, unfiltered and real. Replacing the real with a substitute comes at a cost. Everything we do mentally or spiritually, just as with what we eat or drink, has a result positive or negative. Ulterior motives inform the choices of those who select the content we see on screens.

Whether to sell something to us or get us to do something like vote for a particular person or get a vaccine, or to make us fearful, there are a variety of reasons for the things offered. Very few of them may have anything to do with what we really need at any given moment. We are often manipulated by those who choose digital content.

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