Your Virtual Life on the Bike
Let's assume you are plugged in all the time and you finally realized that perhaps you do that too much. That is..., that you are so consumed by your digital appetite that you no longer read,...
Paper is something merely delivered by the US Post. Other than that, Paper is merely a pain in the ass to break down with each newly minted box you open from Amazon -- Or worse you pile it upon the trash heap whole (full of bubble-wrap and peanuts) and your neighbor/s hate/s you for it.
Let's assume for sake of context to this rant that you don't recycle, Cardboard is something that you leave soaked in a heap for the rat's burrow behind your building, and that you are earnestly of the mind that you will "never pay for content" and as such, you listen to well reasoned and scripted pod-casts and music and have never tendered a penny for the privilege. We all get the argument that content providers get paid with sideways endorsements, and Click-me adds for the privilege to give you some context of the world, and that you just dwell in bounty of their good-will and free-time. I know that cynics are always touting that the broader scheme of the inter-webs is a shameful exchange of personal privacy and boundless free-time for and APP to order Chinese Food or any other ethnic person to actually dress you at the click of a button.
So we have arrived at a valid description of what it takes to live in the "Digital Age" (an abstract and weak catch-phrase for the elderly to compartmentalize the contradictory figment of their former "real lives" of a by-gone period where people harvested and devoured blueberries and sweet tomatoes from a garden plot they rented in the summer). Alas the Digital Age has subsumed them and now they clip coupons, click banner adds along with funny comics and GIFs and forward them with their splendid viruses and send them to their friends grandchildren and kids. In this digital age, it's difficult to see yourself as a fading bulb. In our digital age, as with the industrial revolution, when caught up in it, one does not think poignantly that they are drowning in click-rates, banners, and fake news. In our world we are acutely unaware that we have set sail on a boat without a clear course, sufficient food and water, and life preserves and boats for half the passengers.
We are consumed by the gadgets, information and marketing entering our throats like a beer-bong, which is one college prank from water-boarding. We are transfixed with our Gadgets, our Screens, and our on-line friends. We live online, in lieu of our lives.
So... The internet is your best pal, and you now ride your bike to it. (indoors of course) But, For Crist sakes... "It's Too Cold Out!, It's Too Hot out, It's Too Rainy" You ride your bike with a Watt Meter, A Garmin, Cadence and the like, and you have perhaps forgotten how to ride without a Gadget. You set-up a fan for cooling, a shelf for your laptop, and you return to reality with a powdered soylent beverage. So let's look at what is actually fun about your current indoor ride. It's fun right. It is part you, and part robot. Part simulated adventure rider, part bike blogger. You have so many good times sweating unto a towel on the floor, and comparing your performance with someone across the pond that you presume that this is edgy, and or even ahead of the curve. You are smitten with your new lair.
Outdoors there are all sorts of things including the mounting pile of corrugated paper board you left to erode in the alley behind your back acre. Your neighbors are just dying to meet you, but you are locked into a routine of Zwift and Carry-out, only you don't really carry it at all. In fact let's plan to re-tool the term take-out. while we are here, so that it does not include the "Out", as you are not. Let's call it take-in. A clever concert shirt, hangs in the closet for the next festival, and your mangy jersey never needs washing because you never wear it. Your bike shorts are a sweaty ball of funk, but no one will ever see them. You are tucked in to the same compartment seen in mid-century sci-fi family homes. You live with the Jetsons.
You are handsome or pretty and you think (at least) that other people would like you and find your wit engaging if you were to leave the house and meet someone. So let's focus on the fact that you are excellent in every way -- but, you do not wish to mingle at least not today, because it was a long day at work and you just want to vegetate "for once"... ironic really, that when one was 6, all desire was laser focused upon getting out and staying out. In my sordid youth the expedition didn't curtail until the horizon gasped the last puff of pink & blue, and the cicada buzz of street lamps sparked to life. Today in my middle period, I struggle to coax any able takers to venture out. Apparently, there always seems to be something truly desolate on the tele begging your submission.
If your time were limited on this blue ball, would you focus upon being excellent. Would you partake in something each day which left you smiling and exhausted upon the pillow? If you had a shorter time remaining, would you pine to grab back all of your squandered youth? Perhaps not. Maybe you didn't lose a wink from the day you learned to crawl, to the day you were spat out of college. So has it occurred since then that you may have lost some time? Is there any possibility that you have some catching up to do? How likely is it that you have squandered not your youth, but a bit of time hence? I'll bet not. It's just me who has these feelings. Nobody in middle adulthood would pour hours awash with the glow of a flat screen. Nobody would waste any time reading posts on the internet, would they?
Getting it right means that you may need to work toward venturing out. Just for sake of dialog, Let's begin here.
Me I have been making a concerted effort to gather my strengths to go do things. In the process of gathering my stuff in my pockets and or in a back-pack, I hope to emulate a childhood lived well. Going about this I have thought frequently about the hollow world within 10 feet of my television. The easy shame one gets when the day has ended again in the reflection of BBC re-runs, fake news, and the latest post. Facebook won't get your mojo back for you, and all of the ruminations about how you excelled at things a quarter century ago, will not release you from feeling like a total failure if you do not move your ass now.
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Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.