There are many people, my wife included, who avoid the stress of knowing what's going on in the world by simply avoiding knowing what's going on in the world. Looking at this avoidance strategy from a certain angle, well, it certainly works. But then there's the mantra that one who is forewarned is forearmed. I have never been one of those who can ignore what's going on outside my personal space because I know well how those events effect me in one way or another. Governance, the price of gas, food, strange weather or geologic events, all these things trickle down to you no matter where they happen. Not wanting to know about them won't make them go away, but knowing you might perhaps better fill that tank of yours with gas or stock up on some extra foodstuffs could make the difference when that disaster you would rather not know about shows up on your doorstep.
Along these lines intrudes that saying, "ignorance is bliss". Well, let's reverse that saying to read, "bliss is ignorance". Think about it.
I would dearly love to simply chuck my TV and radio out the window and never see a newscast again or listen to another talk show. I would dearly love to putter around my house, working on the garden, reading some good books, listening to music I like, never having to experience any kind of stress. And I know what would happen sooner or later. I'd go mad. Life isn't and never was nirvana. The human mind did not evolve to exist in a world of denial and sheer relaxation. The human mind was designed to survive, to strive, to excel, to seek, to question, to exalt. You can't do any of that weeding a garden 24/7. Sooner or later your world closes in on you and you might as well go into a coma for all the stimulation and relevance you are experiencing.
I read a blog post recently which decried the amount of time a person imagined she was spending in the virtual world of blogger, feeling disconnected from the REAL world and avoiding real relationships. Yes, if one actually became a hermit and never left the house, did not have outside employment that brought them into contact with "real" people, and had all their needs provided by delivery, I could see how this could be a problem. I also know that people spend time in these virtual worlds doing different things, such as gaming, chatting, and a host of activities which can be accessed by a keyboard. Me, I write to a blog, and I read other blogs, and I go to work, and I shop for groceries, watch TV, read books, work around the house, and interact with my wife, in more ways than one. Blogging is only a part of my total experience, and it adds much more to it than it detracts, at least in my estimation. Although I know people by virtue of blogging, I do not discount them as people I could never meet or get along with in the real world, because I understand that the world from which they blog is as real as mine is. They experience the "real" world in much the same way as I do, yet despite the disparity in our locations and cultures, we still get to share those experiences in a way that once was not possible. Yes, I understand that the internet is not the optimal way one should go about finding a love interest or a mate for life, but that is not a concern for me, as I have that one taken care of. But I also understand that to discount someone online as just another loser for attempting to find a connection via the virtual world is somewhat of an arrogance that can only make one's desire to find a connection ANY where a difficult proposition. If you think you are not going to have to suffer thru a date with a "loser" because you met him in the "real" world, you might be somewhat deluded. A loser is some one labeled as such by some one else who's requirements haven't been met. If your requirements include a sugar daddy with perfect teeth and a convertible, well, hell just might freeze over before you get real and realize that most of the population on this earth isn't as perfect as you, and aren't in any hurry to jump thru any hoops for YOUR benefit.
We all yearn to return to simpler times when we weren't overwhelmed with so much stimulus, trying to keep up with so many distractions, faced with more choices than we can make comfortably. Well, those times are over, and this is the world we have made for ourselves. They call it progress. It's really up to us, as individuals, what level of comfort we are going to have with our information-intensive society. As for myself, I have gleaned the best of this new world from what I have access to and can afford. I now pay my bills online, and never have to drive to the video store to get movies. I forsake HDTV for the cheaper yet vastly better SDTV which gives me a much better picture and more channels than I used to have. I can't afford cable but I live happily without it. We have one pay-as-you-go cellphone which we hand off to each other depending on who needs it most. I watch ABC World News tonight and listen to NPR in the car, which satisfies my news needs, although I can supplement that on the net as needed. I am connected, I am aware, and I am entertained; none of this overwhelms me.
I am at one with the universe, my home, and my wife.......what more could I want?
PS. My extended "vacation" is now over; I return to work tomorrow. THE Wife is doing well, and although it hasn't been as easy as I hoped, I'm still valiantly on the road to kicking my habit. Till next time, well, you know.......BB!