Internet, just as other technological advancements of the modern world, is a tool which when used wisely, provides a great deal of service to its master. However internet, just as other technological advancements, comes with shimmering gloss which has the power to blind those who use it. One can go very quickly from being a master of the internet, to being its slave, while continuously believing it’s the other way around. When a weak-minded individual submits to the internet while foolishly thinking the internet serves them, they allow it to encroach on activities which make them who they are, and that’s when they turn into slaves.
As cavemen, we enjoyed watching shadows formed on the walls of our caves as firelight flickered inside. As agrarians, we watched our crops grow in morning dew as our children frolicked around with their friends. As people of the information age, we sit in climate controlled rooms and listen to the sound from the speakers while staring at a computer screen. Interactions with people who have physical bodies were replaced with online chats and Facebook updates.
And I believe I know why. The fact that most people fear reality is a fact I brought to light a long time ago. For them the internet was a godsend. That’s why they spend so much of their days on the internet, that’s why they have Facebook profile and that’s why no matter how hard they try, all of their attempts to dissert on it sooner or later fail.
The reason why people who fear reality prefer to spend more time on the internet than with physical friends is that the internet is an imaginary world that allows them to apply filters to their existence. They can filter (aka choose) what they read, what they watch, what games they play and what people they interact with. On the internet, they can be whoever they want others to see them as. On the internet, they are who they want to pretend to be.
Walking out of this selective reality and into the real world with unbendable laws in not easy. Not for a weak-minded person who fears reality, anyway. To them the internet is no longer a mere way to escape. It is now a way to replace their normal day for a day with applied filters. The world behind the bedroom window is simply too rough compared to the world behind the computer screen so they choose Facebook to a face to face meet-up.
The best part to living in a filtered world – you can justify it by claiming that you do it to earn money, expand your knowledge, or help others. Isn’t internet just wonderful?
My friend recently told me that she thinks the real reason why I never created a Facebook account even though just about everybody in the world has one, was that just about everybody in the world has a Facebook account. She thought my strong individuality and unwillingness to become a sheep even if it means going head on against the rest of the world was the sole reason for me not to join the sheep. While I can’t deny there’s a pretty solid merit to the assumption, it’s far from complete truth.
I realized the risks of joining Facebook long before its momentum made it the most popular social networking site in the world. People who were members back then were already zombies. They were constantly saying things like:
“Let me take a picture so I can post it on my Facebook.”
Or “This will be an awesome Facebook update…”
Facebook members seemed to live their lives always thinking of their next update on Facebook. They are only half present, like friends you have invited to your birthday party only to have them spend the whole time on their cell phones texting back and forth with who knows whom. They can’t wait to publish their next update because they fear having actual life would make their half friends on the other side of the line forget about them.
Facebook addicts say that Facebook is like a drug. I say they are just weak and unworthy. Wasting their lives away posting comments in an effort to impress people they haven’t even met is the surest sign of weakness. They are weak because they are afraid to present their real self so they mask their weakness by making their virtual selves a reflection of who they wish they were. Their Facebook updates are a collection of thoughts and ideas they want others to see them as. The good (or so they think) gets exaggerated, the bad (or so they think) gets left out or is only partially presented.
I can easily tell whether the person who left a comment on any of my post is a Facebook user or not. Facebook users are used to twisted reality and facts upset them. When Pied Piper plays, Facebookers follow.
Internet power users who don’t have a Facebook account are strong personalities. They are not easy to manipulate and have a brain they’re not afraid to use. They do not need to spend their days reading updates of hundreds of virtual friends to not feel empty.
Facebook and Travelers
I’ve been traveling a lot those past two years and that also means that I frequently meet other travelers. They are physically present in a foreign country, but their mind is on Facebook. Even when they are off line, they always think of their network of Facebook surrogates and plot in their mind what update to astonish them with next. You go with one of them zombies for a beer and they’ll spend that time mentally visualizing the Facebook update about what glass their beer was served in so they can post it on their wall as soon as they make it back home.
The more I meet the travelers with Facebook accounts, the prouder I am to not never have had one. Though I must admit that dumb looks on the faces of Facebook zombies are beyond priceless when they ask me for my Facebook and I tell them that I’ve never had one and never will.
My first Christmas and New Year holiday seasons were spent traveling through Thailand. It taught me a bitter lesson about how challenging this time of the year can get for budget travelers. Armed with this experience, I decided to get ahead of myself as soon as the following year’s holiday season got within a month, securing myself with reasonably priced accommodation early on and staying put until the madness was over and done with before resuming traveling.
Thanks to Malaysia’s welcoming visa policy which enables most foreigners to stay in the country for up to 3 months visa free, I timed my visit to Borneo part of the country to span over the Christmas and New Year. Having gotten to Sabah – the easternmost Malaysian state – in mid November, I knew I could stay until mid February which was more than enough to carry me through the most expensive time of year for travelers. Well ahead of Christmas knocking on everyone’s door, I settled in the heart of Kota Kinabalu to wait out the holidays.
I established a pretty solid daily routine which both kept boredom away and provided healthy lifestyle choices. I had Kota Kinabalu figured out very quickly and knew where the best and cheapest places were to buy coconut – which I drank daily, fresh fruit – especially papaya, and freshly caught salt water fish grilled on a slow fire which I would eat with a double portion of bitter melon. The time I had left I wisely used on enhancing the scalability of my web based income.
Everything was fine and dandy on my end. I minded my own business and remained perfectly content ignoring and being ignored. If I was not buried with my head in my laptop, I was pacing my way to the Philippine Market to buy my fish for supper. Work was getting done and as Christmas kept drawing nearer, I felt peculiar sense of satisfaction knowing that I’ve beaten the rush and over-the-top rip-off pricing for accommodation travelers who were just coming in ended up faced with.
A Canadian Woman in Borneo
Then at devil’s bidding, I had my daily minding-my-own-damn-business routine disturbed by a fine young woman who expressed unusual interest in having a conversation with me. Having just gotten to Kota Kinabalu, she was looking for an advice on where to go and what to do and I just must have had it written all over my forehead that out of all people around, I would be the one to actually have all the answers she was looking for. It did happen to be the case, but how she picked me out is anyone’s guess.
Reluctant to get more involved, I eagerly answered all of her immediate question and passionately filled her in on the ins and outs of the goings in Kota Kinabalu as far as foreigners are involved, believing that after she’s learned all that, she’d leave me cut the world around me off once more and bury my face back in the computer screen to carry on with my duties.
But then she asked where I was from. Since she was from Canada too and just escaped brutal winter Canadian prairies experience this time of year, we just had another endless topic to talk about. Before I knew it, my laptop was shut off and we were headed out so I could show her around. At this time I thought to myself – nothing wrong with getting a bit of a break from my daily routine and engaging in something unplanned and spontaneous even if I end up having to make up for the time lost.
She was an attractive girl which made the time spent together so much more enjoyable but that was not the sole reason why I took a break from myself and went to be her guide. I did get to appreciate extra intake of fresh air and frequent interesting topics that kept popping up. There was never a dull moment with her and I believe we both learned a lot from each other. But as it goes, there just had to be one thing that kept adding spoilage to the overall experience.
The Disconnected Facebooker
While I was submerged in the environment, taking notices of the sounds and smells and movement of things and people around me, she kept checking her phone and constantly debating with herself whether what she’s seeing was worthy of a photograph she could post on Facebook. There were errands she needed to run, but at the end of the day, they were really just side-track excuses to put her in places and situation she could take pictures of to post on Facebook for her friends to envy.
She was physically next to me, but her mind was constantly on Facebook. She wanted to check out merchandise in many stores but never to see whether they had anything she could buy, only whether they had anything she could take a picture of to post on Facebook. Both of us being foreigners in Malaysia, staff in every business we walked into had their eyes right on us and eagerly assisted her in trying wacky costume on believing that they would score a sale.
That’s what, at first, I thought she wanted. But after we’ve walked into fourth store in which she would try a costume on only to have me take a picture of her wearing it after which she would check the camera to see whether the pic was suitable for Facebook and then take the costume off and wave the business good bye, I started getting sick and tired of it.
For one, I didn’t appreciate being part of the tease game, but most of all, there was this reality of my companion being vastly disconnected – physically present but mentally on the computer imagining what caption she was going to give that last picture in the costume I just took of her for her friends on Facebook to admire.
Our time spent together was full of unfinished sentences and lost thoughts because she would spot something that caught her attention and wanted to take a picture of it for her Facebook. Staff have always willingly assisted by climbing ladders and getting whatever she pointed at off the shelf because the idea of two foreigners on a shopping spree promised an opportunity of good sales. None of it was happening and I started to feel embarrassed teasing those people like that.
The fact that I was gonna stay in Kota Kinabalu for another month or so didn’t really bother me. Under normal circumstances, I don’t mind making a fool out of myself and be seen by the same people as a fool twice, but this was making me a part of something I would never engage in on my own terms. By the time I realized what life with Facebookers was really like, I was too deep in the commitment to show her around to easily withdraw.
Can’t See The Forest for the Facebook
The extent at which this Facebook user was disconnected from real life became even more apparent and overwhelming after we’ve returned from “taking pictures for Facebook” tour around Kota Kinabalu and she got on the computer to start posting them on Facebook. Utilizing the instant chatting capability available to Facebook members, she kept chatting with her friends and surrogates and felt compelled to pass how they responded to what she was saying about her today’s experiences to me. I could not believe what I was hearing.
When she shared with her friends the experience we’d had buying cakes at the night market, she passed on information that was completely incorrect. We came to that stall but the lady who ran it was on her cell phone. Another local lady who stood on the opposite side of the counter took over from the lady who couldn’t assist us because she was on the phone and explained what flavor these cakes were and how much they cost. We paid for a few slices and as she was packing our cakes up, she threw an extra cake in.
Needless to say, my Facebooker companion spent this whole conversation taking pictures for her Facebook. She also asked the lady to pose with the cake for a picture and when she was debating it with her friends on the messenger, she was all too eager to tell them this awesome story about a lady who stole an extra cake from a seller who was not watching because she was on the phone.
That unfortunately is not what happened. Because my companion was too preoccupied setting up her camera to take pictures she could post on Facebook, she missed when the lady said that she was the seller’s sister and a partner and together they run this and other stalls. She had full authority to decide how much cake was OK to give the customers but my Facebooker companion had her mind on Facebook, plotting captions she was going to add to pictures in her head so facts escaped her attention. Plus being a Facebooker who cares more about attention from fellow Facebooker than anything else, she may not have been interested in the real story because a story of a lady who stole a cake from the seller simply sounded way cooler than a story of a seller throwing an extra cake in.
This experience told me everything I needed to know about the travelers who have Facebook. They are so taken aback by being on Facebook, they entirely submit their traveling experience to it. They don’t travel – they leave home to take pictures for Facebook. They live for Facebook and surrender everything traveling delivers to the goal of boasting before their Facebook surrogates. Their mind is never in the moment – it’s on Facebook. They have no memory of sounds and smells and random flashes of movement because they constantly think of their next status update and crave attention from other members.
Facebookers use Facebook to present themselves as those perfect people with amazing experiences and life that turned out to be downright poetic. My encounter with this Canadian girl was not my first, nor my last with a traveller with a Facebook account and they were all like this. There is clearly something about Facebook that bleaching the brains of people right out. I’ve never been prouder of not being a member of a flock of sheep who are this disconnected from reality.
Life is an opportunity to create, to taste food, to experience love, to have an orgasm, to learn how to play guitar, to frolic in the rain, to laugh, to be adventurous, to make friends. Life is also… disposable. It is a little span of time that allows us to choose and to achieve.
Here’s the kicker – every second after our birth brings us closer to death. To live is to die yet only the almighty knows which of the two is better. One way or another – it pays to make every second count.
Does Technology Make Our Lives Easier or More Difficult?
The fact that our countdown starts the second we are born is something we as humans have realized a long time ago and being the top of the food chain, we brought technology into our lives to make them less complicated. I can’t help but notice, however that even though technology does make our daily survival chores easier, it also disconnects us from social and cultural ties that existed in our societies for millennia.
It would almost seem as though every new technological invention, like a double sided sword, would on one hand make the task it is intended for easier, but on another make our lives as a whole more complicated by over-stimulating our bodies and minds with unnatural impulses.
Internet – The Ultimate Antisocial Tool
Internet is considered to be one of the most groundbreaking inventions of men. It has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives on both societal and individual levels. Easily the most significant impact the internet has made on our lives is the removal of physical presence. Internet connection is all one needs to do business globally, manage international workers, make and receive payments, balance checkbooks, plan a vacation and more – all without leaving the bedroom.
Internet also made the availability of information and speed at which it becomes available unsurpassed, but it’s the fact that you can get this news while chatting with friends, booking your flight ticket or masturbating that truly impacts our lives. 15 years ago, different activities required the use of different tools and presence in different places but today, all one needs is a computer with internet access.
To bet on a sporting event 15 years ago, one would have to go to the booking office. Today one can do it by sitting on a computer with internet access. To talk to a few friends at the same time, one would have to arrange a meeting so they all are in the same room. Today they can do it by sitting on their computers with internet access even if they are worlds apart. Heck, 15 years ago people actually knew all of their friends in real life. Today, thanks to the internet, people have more friends they have never met in person (virtual friends, aka surrogates), than they have the real life ones.
Internet – in a single sentence – has become the ultimate antisocial tool capable of leaving huge holes where comradeships and community once reigned.
Life After the Internet
From a documentary Zeitgeist: Moving Forward I learned that a need for human touch and companionship are necessary for survival and normal development of all human beings. What are we as human beings going to develop into if we continue allowing the internet to keep us from getting to know and interact with one another without any physical contact?
Internet is an excellent tool, but as with everything, when used by weak-minded individuals, it starts to control them, even though they think it’s the other way around. You can tell how many weak-minded individuals are out there by taking a look at how many profiles exist on Facebook. The description of Facebook states the following:
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them…
..and that’s the way most people perceive Facebook as. Little do they realize that while it connects them with some, it disconnects them with many more. Prior to the internet, people connected with friends by meeting and socializing with them. Instead of entertaining themselves by staring at computer screens, people went somewhere to be with people. Facebook eliminates the need for physical contact and face to face interactions and replaces them with imaginary world in which sounds require speakers.
Internet addicts have internet-numbed brains which prevent them from acknowledging an extent to which internet affects their lives and even if the acknowledgement comes, an attempt to withdraw and set themselves free never thoroughly follows through. To them internet is not a tool which is used when necessary. To them it’s an addiction they dedicate most of their time to, even if it means sacrificing time which would be spent with family or friends. Afterall, how could lunch with friends be any more important than a comment written to impress hoards of people they haven’t even met?
Life after the internet disconnected people from people. Even if there is an off the internet meet-up, the weak-minded, internet-numbed individuals will attend it by spending more time on their little machines (whether texting with cell phones or checking their status and posting comments using internet enabled gadgets) interacting with surrogates than talking with physically present friends.
I recently went to a library and the place was packed. However, I was the only one browsing for books. Everybody else came there to use their free internet. Some youngsters sat mere feet away from each other, yet instead of looking into each other’s eyes to talk, they stared at the screens and chatted using an internet based instant messenger service.
What happened to us? Why did we allow such amazing invention as internet to completely take over our lives and sacrifice everything that makes us who we are to it? When TVs became widely affordable and every household had one, we thought something important was being lost because instead of socializing with other human beings, people spent hours staring absently at a TV screen. We truly had no idea back then what was yet to come…
Internet and Traveling Mark
Internet addiction, just as any other addiction is a sign of mental weakness. If you allow the internet to take you over and do not do anything about it while you can, then you are a weak-minded individual and deserve every bit of what is coming to you. Luckily for me, my journey to self discovery opened up my eyes to more than just what my life after the internet turned into.
My income still depends on use of the internet, but I’m not saying there is anything wrong with using the internet as a tool to achieve great things. I realized a while ago what massive pair of shackles internet represents and have appropriately addressed it. Since that time, I’ve been realizing nothing but its potential. For me, life after the internet has not ended in favour of virtual reality. How about you? It takes a strong individual to see beyond the tip of one’s nose. Have you had your eyes locked to the screen for so long you can no longer focus on the vast world that spreads before your nose’ tip? Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life? At least make it the rest of your life, not the rest of virtual reality in which you existed.
Shortly after I started this blog, as soon as I commenced my round the world trip, I realized that every info you can find about travel through third world countries on the internet as well as in popular travel publications is wrong. As if written by dim-witted imbeciles, every single travel guide in existence had dangerously misleading information, picturing travel as a positive and uplifting experience that involves encounters with friendly and hospitable locals and introduces cultures which despite poverty and threats of oppression always embrace peace and generously give even if they don’t have enough for themselves. What a crock of shit.
Because no realistic travel guides existed, the only thing people traveling abroad had to work with were these piles of whale poop. As a result, charts of people murdered, robbed, raped, scammed and otherwise abused abroad continued to grow exponentially. Yet instead of smacking themselves over their heads with a rock, these sickly deranged blockheads continued to spread their falsity while circle jerking one another all the while people out there were being mistreated having wandered ill-informed into the realm of inherent crime.
Enter Traveling Mark
Seeing all the misleading information the world of travel was oversaturated with, I stepped in and started sharing the full picture. If there was anything positive to share about the place I visited, I shared it, but if there was something negative, I shared it just as well. I told it like it was, delivering the full story without ever skimping on truth. I also never softened things up – if someone was a rip off artist, I called them a rip off artist, not a misunderstood individual who’s had challenging life and is struggling to find his place in the world.
You’d think the world would come together to thank the first ever writer of full truth about the world of travel, but the world remained silent. It remained silent because of fear of those who made themselves heard loud and clear right away – the very dim-witted imbeciles who wrote all those misleading half-truths on travel blogs and in tourist guides prior to induction of Traveling Mark.
Like a mob of gangsters standing by to “take care” of anyone and everyone who messes with their “business”, these loud-mouthed, dim-witted deluders showed me instantly why there is a complete lack of truthful travel guides and why no one dares to speak in favor of one. The slew of hate speech and threats was alarming but I stayed true to my cause and remained adamant to provide truthful information even if it meant going alone against the entire world.
What happened next was astounding. One by one, the bloggers who attempted the same truth telling but were trampled shut by half-truthers’ army of sheep started to re-emerged and contacted me with letters of admiration that I survived the lynching by the dim-witted imbeciles and not only that – showed them all a finger and came out on top. The momentum I created resulted in an unstoppable boom of full truth sharing travel blogs which ultimately shut the dim-witters down. They’re still used to yapping their loud mouth at anyone who doesn’t abide by their rules and have their own sheep circle-jerk one another as they gang up on non-compliers, but their undisturbed and unchallenged reign is over and done with.
The Half Truther Army
My path to victory wasn’t an easy one, though. I didn’t give in to the sheep for one second, yet it puzzled me beyond words how well manned the half-truther army was. Among them you could also find individuals who seemed otherwise reasonably capable so why would they trade their wits for half truths? Why would they not share the whole truth having had the capability to see it? And why would they not only fail to share the whole truth, but fight to their last breath on behalf of dim-witted half truthers as if theirs was the law? This were the questions I kept asking myself for the longest time until bit by bit, the complete picture started to come together.
Fear of Reality
How much many travelers suffer from the Fear of Reality became clear early on. It is definitely one of the chief factors influencing the weak minded individuals even if their intelligence level is otherwise pretty solid. It takes an exceptionally strong person to handle the truth so walking around with rose-tinted sunglasses permanently mounted on a face is a simple alternative that allows one to retain their false sense of security their weak minds can’t otherwise live without.
As with virtually everything that dumbs people down, those who suffer from Fear of Reality can’t see its effect on them and think they are entirely immune to it. The denial and inbred belief that they are completely above it makes them more susceptible to attacks on anyone who dares to point it out. From there, there’s just a small step to attacking anyone whose view of the world is unmarred by presentation of false colors, such as that of people with rose-tinted sunglasses.
Another significant factor that dooms otherwise seemingly capable individuals into a life of a half truthing sheep is a severe lack of ability to actually see the full truth. Those who base their living on taking advantage of others mastered the art of presenting obstacles before the eyes of their chosen victims in order to make their scam appear legit.
That’s why even an otherwise intelligent and educated person can become an easy victim of a scammer and come home believing that that missing money was his own fault though he doesn’t remember where exactly he misplaced it and will continue perceiving the perpetrator as his friend and someone who actually helped him. The victim would also go as far as to attack anyone who attempts to fill him in by clarifying that he was scammed.
Again, as with everything else that dumbs people down, this inability to read between the lines to see things for what they really are is something nobody who suffers from it would admit to willingly. This one more than anything, actually. People who suffer from this shortcoming, regardless of how otherwise intelligent and educated they may be, are so dumbed down they will take scammers’ lie for their own and will defend it at any cost. Typical thinking would go something like this: “The person smiled, hence he cannot be a scammer and anyone who dares to say something negative about him will have me on their ass.”
The Facebook sheep who travel and blog about travel don’t travel for the sake of travelling, but to broadcast their travel to all their friends. All they ever have on their mind is Facebook and the first thing they do when they get back from a trip outside is to get on their Facebook to post updates.
They don’t really interact with locals – they talk to them to get something that would make a good blog. They don’t really go to see a sunset – they take a picture of it for a better update than their friends made. They don’t really sample food – they merely mark the dish’s name so they can post about it.
Facebook sheep plain and simple travel to broadcast their travel on Facebook. They always think of that next Facebook update and of what picture to take to go with it. With their mind always on Facebook, they’re never really fully present in the moment so there really is no surprise that they don’t see the full truth. They only see that which makes the most interesting update for Facebook.
Being humans, we are not very good multi-taskers. Each of us likes to think that we can multitask, but every scientific and social experiment into it proved otherwise. Can you really blame a Facebook sheep for falling short of their travel experience with many things going unnoticed when their mind is focused on shooting a video that will make it on their next post? You truly can’t because it’s a natural human shortcoming but why do these Facebook sheep then insist on arguing with sane individuals who had the same experience but their mind was not on Facebook hence they got full picture of the reality?
Living For the Herd
One of the most influential downfalls of many, not just the travel half truthers is the curse of pleasing others. The sheep live for the herd. In travelers’ case – they don’t travel for the sake of traveling but for the sake of positive press. They want to be coveted by their Facebook friends so they limit their experience to interactions and reports that deliver the thumbs-ups.
It is understandable that because the herd of sheep composed of dim-witted imbeciles and their brown-nosing followers without brain is huge and easily capable of trumping anyone who separates themselves from the herd by being able to think for themselves, most people will volunteer to becoming a sheep because that gives them an approval of the herd.
Whereas the capability to think outside the box and rise high above the ground to see the forest for the trees (see the How High Can You Fly section above) is seen as outcast-ish by the herd, those who demonstrate the ability to think independently are frowned upon and ultimately singled out and victimized. Because nobody wants to feel singled out and victimized, people will sacrifice their individuality to become the respected sheep of the herd. Whether what they think and how they act is right or wrong becomes irrelevant and renounced in favor of whether what they think and how they act is favored by the herd.
The dedication to please the herd before anything else is one of the most dominant characteristic of vast majority of individuals alive today. As such, this characteristic, moreso than any other, would never be admitted to by anyone who suffers from it and is entirely addicted to it.
So eventually, bit after bit, the entire picture of why people, including those who seem to be otherwise mentally capable of thinking for themselves are so determined to pass on the half truths about the world of travel came together. They are the Facebook addicted sheep who fear reality and lack the capacity to see forest for the trees. But most of all, they live for the herd.
There are basically two types of people in the world today:
Sheep feel safe and secure being part of the herd. They abandoned their individuality and modified their thoughts and actions to match those approved by the herd. Like children following the Pied Piper into their doom, the sheep will jump into a well if other sheep of the herd do it too. And if someone were to come along to tell them that they’d be stupid to jump into the well for they would needlessly drown, they’d respond by attacking said individual and backed by the rest of their herd, they’d trample the individual for his nerve to think for himself and speaking in opposition to the herd.
The sheep are many, whereas the individuals are usually alone. That’s why many otherwise capable thinkers succumb to pressure and become one with the herd and start acting sheepish. If one sheep takes a step to the left, all other sheep take a step to the left. If one sheep bleeps, all other sheep bleep. To say something that’s not sheepish when sheep are around would get the whole herd bleeping and that’s pretty much guaranteed to shut any innovator up.
If you do as the sheep do, you’ll gain their respect so next time, if it’s you who bleeps first, all other sheep will bleep in unison with you. If you don’t do as the sheep do and dare to think for yourself, the sheep will bleep in unison against you, calling you a freak and forcing you into becoming a loner.
As for me – I’d rather be alone than become a sheep. I can look in the mirror and not see a puppet. And that is more important to me than all the bleep fanfare in the world.