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Thursday, 5 January 2017

So Long Facebook World

Now that I've returned to Ontario to reset and reevaluate my life, it's time for a break from Facebook.

While Facebook has been an indispensable tool for human connection and travel, it sure does come with a lot of baggage, not unlike a new computer with too much pre-installed software.

Baggage aside, it's still nice to disconnect now and then. A few years ago, I deactivated Facebook for 6 months. I also went without a home internet connection and TV. It was a glorious period of my life where I lived completely in the present. I diverted my time to simple activities such as cooking, reading and yoga.

This time around, I have similar focuses. I'd like to read, learn guitar, poi, and the French language, and spend time with my family.

In the end, it's all about being present with myself and those around me.

I feel like we've forgotten this feeling. Social media has subjected us to information overload, and bred a starving need for attention and to compare ourselves with our online peers. Our identities have been uploaded to the virtual world, so much so that we've forgotten how to interact with eachother in the real world. How is it that despite being more and more connected, we are becoming lonelier than ever?

So with this I disembark from the Facebook ship. And possibly never to come back. When I'm ready to return to the social networking world I will be giving the FB alternative a try, an open source social network that promises true internet freedom.

If you're looking for an alternative, come join me here!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

An Optimistic Approach to 2017

2016 was a controversy-filled year. As we move forward into a new year it is important to have a healthy and balanced approach to what the uncertain future will bring us.

If you’ve read my blogs or spent time with me this year, you know that I’m not afraid to discuss difficult issues. It may surprise you then that I consider myself an optimist.

I believe people are inherently good. We only have to look at how we treat our own family and friends. Unfortunately the human race is too big to treat everyone this way.

When we look at our past 99%, we lived in tribes of less than 150 people. This is the maximum number of existing relationships and interrelationships our brains can process. In such a group size, tribes functioned as egalitarian societies without power structures or police. Like a big family.

Society has evolved to a size today much larger than 150. It requires vast hierarchical systems and police to maintain order. This presents a challenge to the inherent good in people. For we have one major flaw, and that is that we are easily corrupted by power and greed. And this is exactly what happened to the people who run these systems.

I believe this examination of human behaviour using lessons from the past 99% makes sense and eases the troubles in our minds. Knowing what motivates humans to do certain things helps us feel more empathy for them, even the “bad” apples. But it was so easy to blame the world’s problems on those bad apples! Then if not them, who can we point fingers at?

Acknowledging people are inherently good is the first step in rising above cynicism and pessimism. Besides, there's just no time or productivity in pessimism or in pointing fingers in this life.

Happy 2017, and may love and optimism be with you!