Isn't the Internet marvellous?
I'm scanning the room, and about half of you are nodding your heads.
Another handful of you stare blankly.
One of you is picking your nose.
The rest of you are grimacing.
A rotund fella at the back has a red face and is getting up to leave (his face wasn't red moments ago).
We all have different opinions on the Internet.
These thoughts slide and morph depending on our mood, and our recent thoughts and experiences about said Internet.
Right now, I'm feeling excited and hopeful, but I wanted to throw my laptop out the window ten minutes ago.
One of the things opened up by the unbelievable magnitude of new data sources and interconnectivity is our ever-widening access to other people's creations and personalities.
At no point in history has it been easier to see other people - often younger and better-looking than you - succeeding and getting themselves out there.
It's easier than ever to be threatened by the success of others.
We can compare ourselves and interpret the comparison to mean we are inferior.
This makes us feel bad. It might even make us angry.
I know I've felt these things more often than I'd like to admit.
I'm nearly forty and still see myself as a beginner in doing it right as a creator, entrepreneur (whatever that means) and self-employed business owner.
I still struggle to wrap my head around half this stuff. Plus, how things are 'supposed' to be done continually evolves.
But if it's tough for me, it must be tough for others.
This is especially true if we put on an added layer of comparison and growing resentment.
There are other sources of angst that can be triggered through Internet use, which I haven't even touched on.
There are a couple of ways to handle this challenge:
Logistical: Use the Internet less and find balance with offline time. Outsource as much Internet time to others as possible. Limit your screen and social media time, and dip in and out as needed. Or quit altogether.
Psychological: Use potential comparison as an opportunity to develop mental resilience. See other people's successes through a new lens, which sees their work as inspiration for you rather than a source of self-criticism.
In reality, the solution is a bit of both.
It depends on how far you want to turn up the thermostat in each.
The main point here is this:
Many will suffer in this period of exponential technology growth and increasing connectivity.
Those who thrive will tend to the two skills of logistical and psychological awareness and care.
What's something you are doing to manage?
Do share in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
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I am 40 too. I was working in Finance for 16 years. I built my currency, grew & made enough money. Now as a writer/creator I am a newbie. It's like I am starting a career as a 24 year old. It's difficult.
Yes I know exactly what you are saying.
The internet is not transparent - it’s like stepping through a maze with limited information, confused information, sometimes blindfolded, sometimes with just blinkers on, without a map to know where in the maze we are?
We are all being herded into groups, for world wide categorisation. I am not smart enough to use it to my advantage. I feel fear and anxiety which makes me nervous and worried. I want to find real connections but it feels superficial and untrustworthy out there. We are used to meeting people to have the intuitive guide and gut feeling as to what they are truly like.
If I harness in these negative feelings, and pull back my sincerity, and keep to the superficial narrative, it doesn’t feel as bad. It can be randomly entertaining and interesting and informative.
We are all part of this big change in the world and we can all choose to take part. You do Alex and I like your fresh, clear style. Your ‘angle’ on matters of the mind is refreshing and informative and very reassuring. It deserves to be read by millions as it will help so many. I hope I can find a way too.