It’s that moment. When you realise you haven’t been living your life properly for the last 10 years.
When you realise your entire experience on this planet has been dampened by media. Instead of fulfilling your natural human urges you short-circuited them by consuming media.
Instead of having a satisfying love life, you binged on romcoms.
Instead of having an incredible sex life, you watched 1000 hours of porn.
Instead of living an exciting life, you consumed countless shows on Netflix
Instead of enjoying the company of close friends, you collected hundreds of followers on Instagram.
Instead of playing sports, you lived vicariously through younger, fitter men.
When we’re not working almost all of us decide to spend the rest of our time consuming media.
You’ve been living in a fantasy world. Think that’s an exaggeration? Just how many hours have you spend consuming media? Really, how many of those precious hours have you carelessly whittled away? How much time have you spent focused on something that isn’t even real?
For many of you reading, this is the ultimate reason why your life sucks.
You’ve been searching high and low for why. Why do I feel incomplete? Why aren’t I fulfilling my potential? Why do I feel like I’m constantly pushing the accelerator with the breaks on?
It’s been staring your face for years. Why? It’s simple. You’ve been replacing your life with media.
You’ve been pointing your face at screens instead of reality.
Because instead of following your natural human urges to the very end, you take the path of least resistance and satisfy these urges with an incomplete stimulus instead.
The Incomplete stimulus
All media that you consume is an incomplete version of what you can already experience in the real world.
Just look at those around you when they’re consuming media.
When you see others watching TV, watch their faces closely. What expression does their face show? Do they seem completely full of joy when the hero defeats the villain, or do they seem only semi-satisfied?
When you see someone looking down at their smartphone texting their friend? Do their eyes light up with excitement as they talk to their friend or is it only a slight smile that appears on their face?
Media is an incomplete stimulus. So we react to it with an incomplete facial expression.
Because the self is always shining through
Social Media vs Human interaction
Human Interaction: When you connect with others in the real world, you take in their facial expressions, their vocal intonations, their body language and that particular look in their eyes. When you speak with someone in the real world, you get to communicate with their entire being.
Social Media: You communicate with a still image, a few lines of text and a few emojis. This is an incomplete stimulus compared with reality. Perhaps you’re even talking with a video image of the other person. It’s still an incomplete stimulus. You can’t touch them. You can’t smell them. And you can’t feel their true presence.
Social media is an incomplete stimulus of real human interaction. This is why it isn’t satisfying. And this is why it just doesn’t feel the same as human interaction.
Social media vs Human Interaction. Winner: Human Interaction
(Social Media is an incomplete stimulus and yet at the same time a Superstimuli)
Romantic comedies vs real relationships
Romantic Comedies: Most importantly, you see romantic comedies from a 3rd person perspective. You are living vicariously through the characters in the movie. It’s not happening to YOU. There’s no eye contact. No physical contact. The full range of brain chemicals that fire off when you meet at amazing partner are not firing off by watching a Romcom (Eg. Oxytocin)
Real Relationships: You experience these through a first-person point of view. It’s happening to YOU. You lock eyes with your partner. They see you and you see them. Maybe they even understand you. (The characters in a Romcom don’t understand you. They don’t even know you exist). You experience the same full range of brain chemicals that have been drawing couples together for millions of years.
Romantic comedies are an incomplete stimulus of real relationships
Romantic comedies VS Real Relationships. Winner: Real Relationships.
(Watching romantic comedies also makes it less likely that you’ll find a long-term partner)
Porn Vs Sex
Porn: No physical contact. No eye contact. No feeling of respect and acceptance from another human being. Watching from a 3rd person perspective (Unless you’re watching VR porn). No sense of accomplishment. Experienced with the full knowledge that it’s not happening to YOU. And you will probably forget every moment you spent viewing it. (Try to remember the last porn video you watched. Can’t remember?)
Sex: Physical sensations. Closeness. Intimacy. Eye contact. Respect and acceptance from another human being. A sense of accomplishment. Occasional unforgettable experiences. Experiencing the intense pleasure that human beings have been experiencing for millions of years.
Porn is an incomplete stimulus of real sex.
Watching porn is only scratching the surface of the full experience of sex.
(Porn is an incomplete stimulus and yet an addictive Superstimuli at the same time)
Porn Vs Sex. Winner: Sex
Sports Entertainment Vs Sports Participation
Sports Entertainment: Watching from afar. No heavy breathing. No sweat. No tears. No feeling of accomplishment. No endorphins from exercise. No extra blood flow to the brain. No health benefits (More likely health consequences as you stuff your face with beer and pizza).
Sports Participation: Exercise. Heavy breathing. Sweat. Pain. Endorphins. The experience of entering a flow state. A true sense of accomplishment that will spill over into the rest of your life. Health benefits. A more enjoyable old age. Clearer skin. An athletic body. Improved balance. Improve coordination.
Sports entertainment is an incomplete stimulus of sports participation.
When media replaces your life, it leaves you with nothing.
Every human being has within them natural guides to a happy life. We have urges that push us in particular directions. The urge to find a romantic partner. The urge for excitement. The urge to have sex. The urge to connect with others.
The thirst for that stimuli is dampened by the artificial incomplete stimuli provided by media. While you might have taken actions in the real world to quench this thirst, you no longer do because the thirst is has been semi-quenched by media.
You might have gathered the courage to ask that cute girl out, but you watched porn instead. And now the motivation necessary to step out of your comfort zone simply isn’t there. Because you’re satisfied with the porn you watched this morning. Well, half-satisfied.
You might have gone out into the world to meet new people. But instead you spent 3 hours on social media sending GIF’s back and fourth to your existing friends and stalking people you used to know. And now that social event you were planning on heading to doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. You’re satisfied where you are. Well. Half-satisfied.
You might have tried to make conversation with that handsome guy you see every day at that coffee place. But you spent the last month indulging in 10 hours of romantic comedies and eating ice-cream.
Now the desire you had for this handsome stranger is dulled. And you don’t feel at your best (you’ve spent the last month isolating yourself, eating ice-cream and staring at an electric box). Besides, he doesn’t match up to Ryan Gosling. Or Zac Efron.
You might have joined the local football team. Or started a martial arts class. But instead you spent Sunday watching the game on TV drinking beer and stuffing pizza into your face. And now those raw tribal urges have been spent shouting at the players you see on the electric box in the corner. Players who can’t hear you and don’t know that you exist.
Media takes your natural productive desires, consumes them and gives you nothing in return.
If this is the case, then why do we consistently choose the incomplete stimulus of media over the complete stimulus of real life?
Don’t we want to live the best life possible? Why do we continually make choices that that make our life more incomplete than it should be.
Because the incomplete stimulus of media is the path of least resistance
The Path Of least resistance
All human beings have a natural instinct to minimise time and effort.
For our ancestors, this laziness was an effective survival strategy. Laziness meant not wasting precious energy. After all, they never knew when food would be in short supply. And laziness meant being less likely to hurt yourself doing something physically active.
Just like a bolt of lightning or water running downhill, human beings naturally take the path of least resistance.
Capitalism means that for every single one of your natural urges, a path of least resistance is available for you. Businesses position their product on the path of least resistance and make a fortune as the masses give in to their desire to be lazy.
And because nobody has educated you about any of this you’re left to try and figure all of this out by yourself.
This is why all modern societies have reclusive adolescents and adults who have withdrawn from society and decided to stay in their bedrooms 24/7. Because all of their urges can be met with these incomplete stimuli. Of course these people are never satisfied, but it’s enough to stay relatively sane.
This is why Hikikomoris exist in Japan. (As well as their western equivalents)
Continue to take the path of least resistance and watch your life continue to be unsatisfying and mediocre.
Watch your dreams continue to stay dreams as you continue spinning your wheels, replacing your life with incomplete stimulus’ instead of growing through real experiences.
Living Vicariously through media
Most of us watch.
We watch others succeed through our screens.
We watch as the hero saves the day. We watch as our team wins 2-0. We watch as beautiful people have sex with each other. We watch reality stars go about their everyday lives.
All this excitement. Yet what are we doing?
Sitting motionless. Staring. Watching.
As human beings, we have the ability to feel how others feel.
We have mirror neurons in our brain that make us cringe when we watch someone embarrass themselves.
These mirror neurons also give us the tendency to spend a lot of time living vicariously through others.
We often watch media that displays our inner-most desires. When we watch porn, the deeper part of our brains actually thinks we’re the ones having sex.
You can spend half of your life imagining you’re someone other than yourself. You pretend to be other people while your real self is neglected.
You are not batman. You are not playing in the world cup. You are not fucking a gorgeous woman. You are not getting married to Mark Darcy. You are not solving crimes. You are not in a car chase. You are not the celebrity you follow on Instagram.
You are sat starting at a screen. And the people you’re watching don’t even know you exist.
The future of humanity
What happens if humanity continues to collectively take the path of least resistance?
In the dystopian world of Wall-E, all of humanity is obese, lazy and yet perfectly content. They have their needs met at all times by technology and the AI running the spaceship they’re living in.
You might consider this fantasy scenario to be completely impossible And to that I say, why?
What does humanity look like after 10 generations of addictive junk food and a sedentary lifestyle, I wonder.
You might think that humanity could never turn out this way and yet here comes virtual reality and AI.
With virtual reality, we will have the ability to meet up with our friends without ever leaving the house. In conjunction with deepfakes, we will have the ability to have sex with anybody we like. We will be able to have incredible adventures through VR video games.
All of this will available to us on the path of least resistance. All of this will be sold to us frantically by businesses. And they will all include the same addictive mechanisms that already hook people onto MMORPG’s and other video games today.
Just look at how photorealism is already creating games almost identical to the real world:
As technology progresses, a time will come when each one of us has to make a choice.
Are we going to live our lives taking the path of least resistance, living half-lives consisting mostly of incomplete stimulus’ provided to us by technology. Or are we going to commit to the unbeatable rewards of the real world.
What will we choose when an entire virtual world is available to us? A virtual world in which all of the experiences, pleasures and luxuries are available to us.
A time will come when we will all have to make a choice: technology or reality?
Every single day, two paths are available to you.
You can take the path of least resistance. You can spend 6 hours a day consuming media. Watching from afar as characters on-screen have incredible adventures. Imagining yourself having sex with impossibly gorgeous women. Daydreaming about falling in love with the perfect man in the most romantic situations.
You can continually take this path for your entire life. Forever safe inside your house. And yet because all of these things are incomplete stimulus’ you will be forever unsatisfied. Continually reaching for the next incomplete stimulus within arms reach to satisfy those natural human urges within you.
Sure, you can take this path. Just know that every single time you do, you are moving further and further away from what you actually want.
Because media isn’t only a distraction from life. Media replaces life.
Alternatively, you could choose the hard path. The path full of struggles and disappointments.
You could choose the path of satisfaction.
You could choose reality.
And you could make a commitment to choosing reality every single day.
Now this isn’t easy. The natural human tendency towards the path of least resistance is never going away. And oftentimes, media is a highly addictive superstimuli.
In our world, businesses are hellbent in addicting you to their media.
You live inside your own box. You may live away from your family. You may not even have many close friends. The support of the community that our ancestors had is no longer available to us.
Against the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry, you stand alone.
So you need to learn your triggers. Everyone has them.
Do you stalk your friend’s social media pages? Do you absent-mindedly scroll the Instagram newsfeed? Do you habitually open up a porn website when you’re horny? Do you spend countless hours progressing inside of video games?
When you’re using media, watch yourself. Take a second to imagine yourself from a 3rd person perspective. What are you doing? Why have you been sat in your boxers staring at your phone for the past hour? Is this really what you want to be doing?
Step outside the media haze. Breathe. Are you on your way to achieving your goals? Or are you on your way to a life filled with dissatisfaction and frustration because you spend half your time on media?
By understanding that your life is being replaced by media, this could be the ultimate game changer of your entire life.
"Reality is my drug. The more I have of it, the more power I get and the higher I feel" - Curtis Jackson “50 Cent”