Are We Addicted to Superficial Stimulation?

I recently had a conversation with an editor of an online magazine that has 10's of millions of monthly readers.  He is also in duty of managing content that is published to Facebook.  Once he posts an article, he is required to then track the number of readers in real time.  If an article dips below a certain threshold, it is yanked and replaced.  

He offered that the magazine receives articles that are filled with depth, meaning and actual citations of real data.  These articles rarely become popular.  The articles with sensational headlnes, sensational opinion and no citations of fact are eagerly devoured at record pace.  

Why?

We are sensation craving beings.  Think about a typical day in your life.  Most of us crave to be touched, to be talked about, to become excited by stimulation from news or the "next greatest thing" to come into our lives.  Our society is addicted to another dopamine hit when we unlock our phone.  

What's interesting when this is confronted in public, people deny it immediately.  That's not me, it's them.  This a very telling observation.  We know we are living superficially, but we are addicts, unwilling to admit our addiction.  

This conversation was a wake up call for me.  In all the ways I might guilty of superficial addiction to another dopamine fix, I will be honest with myself when I feel this need for stimulation.  We are absolutely drenched in our culture with the opportunity for immediate gratification.  Porn, politics, and idealization of celebrity are the main focus of our attention.  

I hope whoever might finish this very unsensational article might understand that there are other beautiful things this world outside what the masses are consuming.  It isn't that sensation is a bad thing, it is that requiring instant gratification leaves the practitioner living in a very superficial world.  The beautiful nuggets that our beloved poets and writers have gifted us, are left unpracticed.  Experiences that are likely to stir the soul are replaced by an addicted untamed mind 

Here are some soul stirring that I have discovered...

The joy experienced when studying and practicing virtue. 
The peace and tranquility of sitting in seclusion and finding the sensation from listening to nature and silence.
The warmth experienced when practicing listening to others to explore and become enveloped within their joy.
Lying entangled with a lover or friend, where silence allows a connection with just being.   


What say you?

Leave a comment