You have put in crystal clear words what I've been observing (with some unease) for some time.

People do seem to be devolving in their capacities. What we have created is a world where 24/7 you can access music recorded and tuned to the highest possible levels of mastery, films and shows created with literally out of this world special effects, play video games of a depth and intricacy more attractive than the real world.

In such a world the urge to passively consume/enjoy other people's work easily outweighs the inner human drive to improve and get better - whether its getting more physically fit, playing an instrument, writing (why write when you can see so many better authors out there?). More disturbingly is that a lot of my students don't even play video games anymore, preferring to spend their time watching OTHER people play games.

I asked a student once, if he spent so much time watching streamers play Fortnite, why not just spend that time actually - y'know - playing the game and getting better at it? He looked up at me like I'd said something ridiculous and said, "No way, I could never get that good." That has stuck with me. How many kids are out there with that attitude towards life? They don't even bother to try because they are comparing themselves to an extremely lofty ideal.

I trace this back to the internet. Being able to access the best the world has to offer, on demand, appears to crush as many people into accepting helplessness and mediocrity, as it has inspired and enabled people to get 10X better at stuff.

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May 10, 2022Liked by Shane Trotter

I have had all my tracking and notification settings turned off for a long time now. Although I would like to have text message notifications, somehow on my latest phone I don't know how to turn them on. I find notifications intrusive. My text notification sound is the lowest, most unobtrusive one I could find. Barely audible.

Although I am VERY adept at navigation naturally, and of using maps, the GPS is awfully handy. I only use a desktop or laptop if it is absolutely necessary and even then I whine about it. I loathe screens and I loathe the lie that the tech Industry has foisted on us about our need for it.

I admit, I do have a problem with just "picking up"my smartphone for no good reason. It is weird.

I cringe to think of all the hours, weeks, perhaps months I have lost staring at a smartphone.

Loved the post. Thank you.

P.S. have you (y'all) listened to the John ODononhugh podcast I sent yet?

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