I haven't been over here in a while, because I have been dealing with some physical challenges. But today I am moved to post something that has gotten me thinking and somewhat disconcerted. I just heard, on our local news, that Centerville, a city here in Utah, has decided to use Twitter to disperse local information to city residents. So now the town is tweeting, and other municipalities are expected to follow suit in due course. Tweet, tweet, tweet...pfui.
Aye, there's the rub. Twitter is a way of posting tiny little sentence fragments which are totally incomprehensible to anyone except the person who is being addressed. Reading people's "tweets" on my various blogs is the best way I can think of to entice a headache to come roost between my temples and take up residence for the rest of the day. Twitter is quick and short and immediate. And thus it is the new big thing, and thus it is one more thing turning me into the Crotchety Crone I bill myself as in certain other places.
SLOW THE FUCK DOWN, PEOPLE!!!!
Now we can text while driving while listening to our voicemail on our iPod while looking at the scrolling text of weather and road reports and Amber alerts on the highway monitors, while our PDA sits on the seat next to us scrolling the internet and we have one ear on the music on the radio and half an eye on the drop-down DVD player that has Kung Fu Panda blaring at our overstimulated kids in the back seat, and that doesn't even include the GPS which is talking to us while we skitter down the Internet at 75 MPH. And we wonder why our lives are increasingly shallow, meaningless, useful for nothing more than seeing how much we can get done in the shortest possible amount of time, regardless of the quality of what we are doing.
I am seriously worried here. Twitter is only a symptom, and it isn't the first one. The fact is we are well on the road to obliterating our cultures, our resources, our sanity, our intellect, our environment, and perhaps even our species. And in my opinion a great deal of this is due entirely on our insistence on doing everything less carefully, with more noise, hurry, and attendant chaos and less insistence on slow, quiet, thoughtful words, deeds, and circumstances.
Human beings are mammals, diurnal mammals. Diurnal mammals need to live in their cycles, which include sleep and rest cycles. We need....not just as a lazy convenience, but as an essential of our physical and mental health...the processes which are induced in our minds and bodies by the three gifts of darkness, distance, and silence. We need to think, to take time, to have room to cogitate, to have periods where we are simply sitting and contemplating, with NOTHING on our minds or in our purview except the peace and tranquillity of the quiet mind. Without these things, we fray. We go on rampages. We get sick, and sicker. We get depressed. We pop pills. We drink too much. We abuse each other. And sometimes, we die. And all that is attached to us dies too. And yet we keep on doing it, keep on loading ourselves up with more/faster/shorter/busier/shallower/more frenetic, more careless, more abbreviated, more twittery, more more more....
And in this instance, for sure, less is more. Or, better phrased, more is less. Less thought. Less care. Less time. Less focus. Less inspiration. Less perception. Less life.
For the love of all the gods, people. Slow the fuck down. Slow food. Slow conversations. Slow, leisurely moments of sharing with loved ones. Slow, deliberate and careful cogitation before coming to decisions. Slowly, carefully, deliberately, experience of the immediate moment.
Slow down and enjoy the life you have been given. Too fast and too furious is too damn bad. Why should you twitter your way through life when with some thought, you could sing a full-voiced canticle of joy?
I know you won't listen. You're in a hurry. But that's OK. I won't be following your tweets, either. Because there's no YOU in there any more.
I will be over here under the Bo tree contemplating my navel. Maybe you might like to join me if you ever get the message. And it won't show up on your phone.