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I Generally Don't Like Merlin Mann, but He's Cutting to the Quick Here

kung fu grippe - Better

Politics, celebrity gossip, business headlines, tech punditry, odd news, and *user-generated content.*

These are the chew toys that have made me sad and tired and cynical.

Each, in its own way, contributes to the imperative that we constantly expand our portfolio of shallow but strongly-held opinions about nearly everything. Then we’re supposed to post something about it. Somewhere.

From businesses we’ve never heard of, to countries we’ve never visited, to infants who’ve had the random misfortune to be born into a family that’s on TV — it’s all grist for obvious jokes and shortsighted commentary that, for at least a few minutes, helps both the maker and the consumer feel a little less bored, a little less vulnerable, and a little less disconnected. For a minute, anyway, it makes us feel more alive. Does me, anyway.

But, in my observation, the long-term effect of each of these can be surprisingly different.

. . .

What worries me are the consequences of a diet comprised mostly of fake-connectedness, makebelieve insight, and unedited first drafts of *everything*. I think it’s making us small. I know that whenever I become aware of it, I realize how small it can make me. So, I’ve come to despise it.

I've been meditating on this problem for a while as I've reworked my own processes and habits, but it never dawned on me to evangelize. I share Mann's essay -- and encourage you to read it -- in the spirit of helping you decrease your knee-jerk snark in favor of increasing your inner quiet. Go in peace, brothers and sisters.