She Waits

She waits, sitting there in the same cafe´. She orders a grande Cappuccino, light foam because she doesn’t like it to be too frothy. She’s a woman that knows what she wants.

She’s independent, she’s built herself a foundation set for years to come. She’s the queen of her own throne, to the many that have tried to topple, she waves. For she knows need of no one but her own. Intuitive she is, smart, talented she works under no one except her own ego.

She waits, sitting patiently. Her friends pondering her love interest days prior. Frank, when they notice she never wears that circular metallic band that would call courtship and old romance. If anything, they haven’t seen her with anyone over the past two harvests. Worry falls down their gloom filled faces, to them, existence in solidarity is one for the crazies.

I don’t need someone to make myself happy!

She exclaims, a mental breakdown during brunch has her friends, the waiter and the onlooking crowd in gasp. As if she’s hung a butter knife in the air, screaming to the heavens about how ungodly refreshing the golden honey tastes paired with the wheat toast. She’s heard enough of it.

Download Complete.

She caves, trying the newest trend following adulthood and romance. Kindler it’s well known as. Pacing back and forth, questioning everything she’s ever built for herself; she begs the question:

Why do people need to feel love from others? Why can’t people let others live their own way?

She’s frustrated, but she settles down. Clips her social profile onto the network to bypass the informational, and to her amazement: Choices.

As if she were at a candy shop she could choose hair, no hair, body types, lifestyles. All makes and models of all different shapes and sizes. Maybe she would like to take charge in the relationship, be the bread winner and change the social formalities that govern modern society. Maybe she could be that girly-girl that she wanted to so desperately be, growing up.

Swiping left as she does, she comes onto the match that sets her mind ablaze. Passion runs through her veins as she’s met the one.

She fantasizes, eyes widening to the thought of a stable family. Her parents, divorced at an early age, weren’t the best representatives to the idea of marriage. She found true the negatives of what could become of courtship. Does she dare choose the same path?

She swipes right, they match. She’s excited, they set a location. She’s there.

She waits, sitting in the same cafe´, she orders a grande Cappuccino, light foam because she doesn’t like it to be too frothy. She waits, because she’s a woman that knows what she wants.

[fin.]

The Dreaded Notification Ping

Facebook, Instagram, & Snapchat (to name a few), all base themselves off of a high-pitched, one note tune.

A notification ping that let’s you know you’ve received something. That something could range from, a new like from a cat video you had posted earlier, or maybe you just got a new follower on your page.

Back in the old days (man I feel old I’m only twenty-four!) the only pings we would get at a consistent basis was either the phone connected to the wall; announcing that someone was calling the landline (do those still exist?), or the microwave telling me that its done beating my food with radiation.

Pings are an everyday occurrence in the modern age, there’s a new saying with our phones instead of the old saying There’s an app for that its now gotten to:

“There’s a ping for that”

These pings are useful, they can help you keep organized and stay on top of what’s happening around your social media walls, but is helpful hurtful?

Is a ping no more than a constant release of the endorphins? I speak from experience in that at whenever I would get a new message from Snapchat I would feel “good.” Not good, in the sense that everything is casual and I’m in a good mood, but whenever I would get a notification, a surge of “good feeling” would run through my head, down to my spine. I knew that something good had happened because any form of contact back on my social media is generally a good thing. Rarely have I ever been hurt or distraught by my peers through Social Media, so I only ever receive “good” notifications.

Here’s my question to that:

Are we setting ourselves up for destruction?

I believe we are. Why? Because look, these pings are setting root into our minds. I can tell the difference between a ping on an IPhone to an Android ping, for when I recieve messages.

If there’s no ping, then I know my social media isn’t getting around like a pair of washed out, jean pants that women made a pact to share across the world. I then become aware that maybe my post wasn’t all that it was cooked up to be. Thusly I take down the post, analyze it to find out what I did wrong and then I’ll post something else. All in hopes for more likes, more attention and more pings.

I’ve become addicted to the need for approval and the pings are the biggest influence. I’ve been duped into the conditioning scheme, and I haven’t even found out yet.

What is the Conditioning Scheme? Let’s look back in History (time to put on my reading glasses)

Back in the old days, there was a Professor by the name of Ivan Pavlov

Ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? This was the hairy man in charge of the theory. It’s even based off of his name: Pavlovian Conditioning (otherwise known as Classical Conditioning).

Pavlov had a theory, the theory questions if he could get dogs to salivate when no food was present, just by the stroke of a bell.

So he ventured forth, he got a dog and hooked the dog up to a gizmo that would collect the dogs saliva. Pavlov would have a bowl of dog chow ready, and before it was time to eat Pavlov would ring a bell. Once the bell was rung, the dog was then able to munch down.

As this would go on, the dog would correlate dinner time to the ringing of a bell. Once the dog was tamed to the sounds of the bell; Pavlov then took the dinner away, and even though there wasn’t food in front of the dog, the animal still would salivate as if it was getting food.

This same concept applies to Social Media. We get a notification and that notification would mean that something has happened on our walls; there’s attention coming our way. Once that happens we feel good about it so we want to then post more.

It’s an ongoing war, constantly feeding the beast that is Media. The Notification feature is merely a sound, a mating call of the beast. Pulling you back in for more and more till it’s thirst is satiated (click on satiated to see a cool music video!)

So, here’s my question to you this morning. Are you your Social Media? Or is your Social Media, you? Are you addicted, do you feel strung out when you haven’t received your quota of likes for the day?

It’s funny, at one point I would’ve called myself a Recovering Medialite.

In the meantime as we enjoy what our friends are writing, sharing, and blogging we never mind the ping that appears in the background. Take a hard look at that ping. In fact, I challenge you to turn your Notifications off for all of your applications. Send a message and receive one, or even better post onto one of your walls and turn off your notifications.

How do you feel?

Pick Your Poison

Staring at the Television I’m glued, lazily sinking into the crevices of my old beat up, brown recliner. Look, I’ve had a hard day. I’ve been continuously standing at my job my knees are killing me; telling people why they should buy this, why they should buy that. I didn’t even lift a finger but phew I’m beat. At least I can pop a squat, chill out, and see whats on television.

(Flipping through channels)

[Ad]

(In a deep manly tone)

You too can own a truck, for a limited time only head on down over to [insert generic Car Dealership] right now at this very millisecond, and we’ll add a fifth tire so you can always be on the go.

Hm, I already have a car. Let’s see whats on cartoons, I just want to be entertained.

(Flips channel)

[Ad]

(High pitch middle aged man) Hey kids! You know whats awesome?!

(Crowd of kids in the commercial) What?

(Middle aged man) This brand new toy! Check out this kid! He’s playing with the toy! Hey, You’re a kid too! You should play with this toy! Tell your parents that you need this toy now!

Guess what?!

We have a Limited Edition! There’s only One Hundred in the whole world! They’re slightly different from the regular toy (slight color variation)! Don’t even question us, get your parent’s permission with their card and buy it now! Hurry before we sell out!

Oh my god, I just want to watch television. Let’s see whats on the men’s channel for gods sake.

(Flips Channel)

[Ad]

(Light vacation beach music in the background with images of older couples)

(Same middle aged man from the first commercial)

Hello gentlemen, My name is Paid Sponsor here, and I can guarantee you that I, am not a paid sponsor. Look I get it, as we age we gotta make sure that we can still keep in shape for the lady. Have you ever felt down, downstairs? I do, and when I do, I take this non prescribed, unregulated medication that gives me a boost if you catch my drift.

I know what you’re thinking “I’m a man, I don’t need medicine to please my wife” but trust me, take one and you’ll be riding like a bull (slowly) all, night, long. Order now, and when you order we’ll throw on a coupon to your favorite burger place. Because we all know men love a good burger.

(Sigh) I’ll just listen to music.

(Puts headphones in, listening to The Killers)

[Ad]

(Song ends and a woman comes onto the mic)

Hey listener, don’t you hate ads? We don’t because we get paid, but here I’m an ad. Buy the premium so you don’t have to hear me.

Ah forget it! I’ll just sit here in silence.

[fin.]

Keep Your Phone Off

Remind yourself, it’s your duty to yourself to take time to think. You woke up, and the moment you turned your phone on; constant ringing. Let’s stop that, before you decide to turn your phone on, do your daily needs. Make your bed, reduce the clutter in the area, brush your teeth, take a shower. You’ll feel better, less anxious, and with more clarity for the rest of the day.

We have to give our minds time to process especially after waking up. Have you ever noticed yourself checking your phone constantly throughout the day, or are you holding onto a thought that’s been with you since the moment you woke up?

Here’s my question and be honest with yourself:

Did you check your phone the moment you woke up?

Did you get your Snapchat notifications? Your follower pings from Instagram? Is the wall on your Facebook cluttered with other peoples’ post-it notes? Do yourself a favor, keep it off till noon. You’ll feel more connected to yourself instead of the image on your Profile. If you absolutely need to check what’s going on, then here’s my challenge to you.

Go directly to what you want to see. After you check it out (whether it be a post, or an article, or a notification) turn your phone off for the next Thirty minutes.

This is to check your dependence. How wired are you to your phone? Do you feel stressed out the moment you turn your phone off? No? What about Ten minutes after? Fifteen?

Feeling Anxious yet?

If you do, it’s because your brain is wired to constantly check your phone. Have you ever felt your legs vibrate even when you don’t have your phone in your pocket? Your brain has built a dependence, a craving almost, for the constant need of Entertainment and Approval. Social Media is your quick fix.

There’s an easy way to get rid of it. Leave your phone off, tell yourself this:

I don’t need to check my phone.

The internet can wait, because it will always be there.

I am here in the present moment. Aware of what’s around me.

Say these three statements, how ever many times it takes till your brain feels the connection. Once then you’re not necessarily going to feel anything grand; because it’s very subtle. Your dependence is realized, and your brain will process accordingly to it so long as you wish to truly make a change for yourself.

Good Morning, and many blessings Young Traveler.

A Cup O’ Joe

Groggy I was, still trying to wake up as I’m waiting in line at the local Cafe´. There’s still a little bit a ways before I can order my coffee, I’ll check my phone to pass the time.

Hm, I wonder what people are saying on Social Media.

(Scrolling through the feed)

Memes, relationship statuses, the occasional stock price and advertisements. There’s a couple of articles that a few friends will post, but it’s intentions are seen on the article itself.

“Right-Wing Officials say the Economy is Tanking!”

“The World’s at an all time end, Here’s why!”

“Do you have Ebola? Take our Quiz to find out!”

Devastated I am, as I’m drowning myself. Unaware to the time spent on this information that didn’t involve me. Anxiety runs through my body as I keep scrolling through the what if’s. I find myself getting tense, my muscles tighten, my breath shortens; I’m stressed as if I’ve been sent back to class; preparing for a test the night before.

“Next!”

The barista banters as I’m throwing myself deep into the abyss, I look up. Stress piling over now as the menu behind the cashier holds an itemized list of choices.

I could get a coffee, or I could get a Grande Vanilla Macchiato, light foam, stirred heated to 140 degrees. Hm, but I’m not feeling something hot, maybe something cold; like an Iced, upside down, triple shot, Caramel coated, lack of caffeine soft serve that would send me down a diabetic coma. Throwing my senses into the void of a sugar induced slumber. It would even have the likes of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, weary of my life choices.

“What Can I get you?”

The Barista asks as I’m dazed to the plethora of choices in front of my retinas. Stimulation overwhelms me as I’m pressured within a forty-five second window to choose, yet if I make the choice I’m missing out on the other joys. Do I want energy? Do I want sugar? Do I want water? I should’ve asked myself this before I came into the shop, all I wanted was a Cup O’ Joe how hard is that?

Wait,

“I’ll take a tall blonde, please”

If only for a moment, I’m at ease.

Listen,

In fact, I’m not asking you to do much. I’m not asking you to turn off your daily routine. I’m not asking you to turn off your distractions. I simply just ask that you take a moment for yourself and listen.

For a moment in time, pause.

Breath in for five seconds, breath out and play this video. Listen to the running water as it crashes each pebble in its way. Gathering in massive force, momentously traveling forward. Reaching outwards step by step, getting closer to it’s goal. Filling in the roots on it’s sides, feeding the empty, creating everlasting life amongst the trees.

Listen to the birds, chirping their beautiful melodies. Singing songs of old, making young anew. Listen to the elders talk of old wise tales. The gods above venture forward making haste as time is a kin to no one.

Listen to yourself. Watch as your body reacts almost instantly to the pressures released. You feel at ease, the problems you thought of before are now but mere challenges we all have to face in the game that is life. Go forth, venture forward as you complete the tasks in front of you.

Life is a journey as we all face many trials and tribulations. We make ourselves right by attuning ourselves with whom we are. Once then, we set forth with a better, more complete mind.