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Hairy Butt in the Digital Age

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You’ve all heard it before. Our world is about to get a lot smaller. In the 5G world everything is connected to everything; everyone is connected to everyone, constantly, intimately, FOREVER! Well I just have one simple question: Is your butt hairy or smooth? Do not take me for a pervert, though sometimes I do linger on images of nude women for longer than I care to explain. Just hear me out here.

Our ancestors had the luxury of wearing something to cover their butts for at least a millenium. Yet every single one of us still have hairy butts. WHY? The answer lies in evolution. Even though our buttocks no longer need hair to protect it from the elements and pesky insects our genes take a long time to mutate the hair away. To complicate the matter even more, the hairy gene may be connected to other traits in the human genome so changes in one trait may affect another and vice versa. So we know two things: 1) Humans take a long time (hundreds of generations) to change. 2) A change in one aspect may inadvertently trigger changes in another.

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Back to the digital age. We are now “connected” to hundreds of Facebook friends; we strive to have thousands of followers (like Jesus); we feel defeated if we don’t get at least two hundred likes on a post. Yet we are only one generation away from Homer Simpson clumsily pronouncing “COM-PU-TERS”. The rapid changes in our social environment is unnatural and  most importantly unsustainable. Our bodies were never made to have 2000 FB friends, 400 ongoing relationships,  250 text messages a month, 50 emails a day, 15 alerts an hour. Some researchers say our brain can only keep track of 45 individuals in our lives. And we can not focus on more that three things at once. No wonder sometimes I feel like a kayaker paddling against the flow of Niagara falls. Too much noise, too much flow.

In the Neanderthal age when people lived too close to one another fights break out. The winner pushes the loser out and peace is restored. Now the whole world is in your pocket. You have no escape. Unless you practise “Digital Minimalism”. In the book of the same title Cal Newport recommends a strict 30 day social media cleansing followed by a very selective reintroduction of certain tools. The kept tools have to be used to build REAL human connections. The real connections will be significantly smaller in number and much higher in quality. These connections are the real Gold according to Cal. They will make you happier and healthier in the long run.

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I have not done the cleanse myself. I am intrigued. Maybe I will do it or maybe I won’t. But the next time I feel anxious and frustrated and on-edge in the sleuth of social media downpour I will not be scratching my butt and wondering why.

In the end, we all want to be happy and be at peace. If you have everything but are still unhappy, maybe it is time to examine how you interact with your world, your increasingly digital world.

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