Stuck in a state of perpetual refresh 🔄

The newest app, the latest iPhone — we make an excuse to spend more time with our smartphones. What can be perceived as self-absorption is also hypnosis, as the phone’s rectangular glow grips us into a ludic loop. Social networks intend to get us out of a trance and sting us into experiencing the world; […]

Avoiding the losses

Every story needs a villain that disobeys the rules. Bereft of drama we lose interest in the hero’s tale. Struggle makes us human. The will to defeat Goliath comes with an exaggerated sense of faith. We overcompensate for our vulnerabilities, and in doing so, raise the stakes of our own determination. “He who has a […]

No longer thinking straight

We are suckers for fake news not necessarily because we want to believe it’s true, but because the world has become so chaotic and polluted with noisy opinions that the possibilities are endless. Believe it or not, this is a shark on the freeway in Houston, Texas. #HurricaneHarvy — Jason Michael (@Jeggit) August 28, […]

Developing a clear and focused mind

If we don’t pay attention — keep our eyes on the donut rather than the donut hole — we’ll lose the plot. Said the stoic Marcus Aurelius in his journal Meditations: “Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” If we […]

No-makeup makeup

It’s easier to be oneself behind a mask to conceal the messy workings underneath. But the shame in acting is suppressing the person that we are. We can only mask our insecurity and vulnerability for so long until we yield to the unmasking powers of authenticity. Honesty is liberating There is no stage nor carousel of […]

The looking glass self: “I am who I think you think I am.” 🔎🙍

Identities are social. But not necessarily in the construct of how we or others see us but how we think others perceive us. External reflection is what philosopher and sociologist Charles Horton Cooley called ‘The Looking Glass Self” theory. “I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind […]

Measuring our social media clout

It doesn’t matter whether the engagement comes from bots or real people: Followers inflate our ego. Likes boost our self-esteem. Social influence is a game of numbers. The more followers and interactions we get, the more credible we appear. Popularity promises self-worth. But fighting for fame provokes a “potent cocktail of comparison for anxious people,” […]