Society says it is honorable and good to learn new things.
Why then does attempting new things often cause a feeling of embarrassment resulting in a quick give up or not trying at all?
I like to learn new things and am recently attempting digital painting. Yet, there is this unseen force, a pressure on me that wants me to give up, tells me I cannot do it. It is like the bad angel on your shoulder who is getting the upper hand on the good one atop the opposite shoulder.
I thought about this today and wonder what could cause these things. Surely it must be learned as young children are quite eager to try just about anything put in front of them.
Could it be society? From a young age we are also graded by teachers and our efforts compared against our peers. Should we not be in the top rankings we would naturally consider ourselves “bad” at the task assigned to us. To add to this pressure the classroom has grown much larger. With the internet we now have all of humanity in which to compare and rank ourselves. Even writing this post I recall the daily onslaught of articles from very talented writers in my RSS feed and that same dark force tells me to just quit and erase this post.
Turning on the TV we see shows such as “America’s Got Talent” where a major factor in the draw of that show is the ridiculing of the participants! The other shows don’t seem much of an improvement as they are filled with sarcasm, snark and more ridicule since these seem to be part of the “secret sauce” that is driving viewership in the USA.
I find it hard to tell if the shows are simply reflecting popular culture or if it is the other way around. Who was, snarky and unpleasant first? In any case it seems they feed on each other.
How about age? Sometimes the dark angel whispers that I’m too old to try new things. If I look around younger people are so much better at this or that then I’ll ever be. Why embarrass myself? The dark angle is a formidable enemy.
Could it possibly be our friends, family and acquaintances? All of these people have set expectations of us and should we act or behave any differently we run the risk of seeming ‘strange,’ or ‘not being ourselves.’ Our friends and family could in fact be a limitation! There is a reason people write anonymously. They do it so they can write freely without any disruption to their social lives. By writing anonymously one can express his true opinion! Just as a politician building up his reputation in a political party would be unable to agree with the view of the opposing side even if he agreed with it, we ourselves, in our own individual lives have a very hard time doing something that would be out of line with social reputation that we’ve all worked so hard to build. For example, say I wanted to become a mime. I’m sure once I began practicing a solid majority of the people I know would think I’m developing a mental problem.
For me, the only way to beat the dark, negative thoughts that try to stop me from trying new things is to forget everything and everyone, to go alone and be alone. I don’t want their opinion and I don’t want to share it with them. Funny that I write that in a blog post that is shared with the entire internet. But the internet is not real, it is not a person. The internet is just words, images, ideas, videos swirling around where the majority of participants do not have very long attention spans. They want to see pictures of cats, or share some mindless delight, or share pictures on their social network, or make some trite statement, or watch a slideshow of something, or read a list such as 10 reasons why everything is awesome.
I write the blog for me and for the future internet, certainly not the present. I rarely read what I’ve written. I don’t want interaction on my posts and have grown tired of the overemphasis on “being social.” No matter what we do on the internet now days we see the ubiquitous share button. Hell, even porn videos have a share button. Who in their right mind would share that with their social networks?
So now, we’re not only still ranked and stacked among all of humanity but now we are slowly being coerced into sharing our mediocrity with the world??
This blog is my home on the internet. It is closed to outside commentary but you may peek through my windows if you must.