The carte blanche land of do-as-you-please also known as the 21st century offers promising prospects to its curious inhabitants. The century-old ideas of live, love, dance are replaced by f**k, drug and then post your perversions on social media: the indulgent alcoholic’s most prized rum.
The music was loud and as he awaited another night of frivolous decadence, he took a second to enjoy the lingering taste of the sweet vodka synthesised by the bright mango liqueur dancing along his tongue. Greeted ceremoniously by his raging guests, he popped the bottle of champagne, the eloquent golden liquid fizzed through the bottle showering the thirsty crowd. The rest was a blur. Instances of blazing music and dancing flashed speedily through his reddened eyes as his tired head spun deeper and deeper into the quiet abyss of the sofa.
Hungover. A bludgeoning throb echoed through his head as he struggled to find his balance. Walking in circles across an empty dark room he searched desperately for something to drink: this wasn’t his first time and sure as hell wasn’t his last. What you may see is a depraved confused alcoholic numbing his pitiful existence bottle by bottle. Well, if that’s the only thing you see you lack perspective. Modern civilisation is not a physical reality it’s an idea, it’s an amalgamation of social norms which governs our collective belief of right and wrong. At least that’s what Wikipedia thinks. But what is it really all about?
“Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that our society tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energise you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
The grey sordid walls loomed over the harrowing stench of misery, bleak rays of sunlight peered shyly through the cold confines giving an ickle of warmth to freezing bodies. Thick black bars evenly segmented my vision as I glanced forward, searching ravenously for a drop of solace in troubled waters. Each day was a different shade of grey till grey was all I knew.
I soon grew accustomed to the life of a prisoner, the bittersweet acceptance of my plight soothed a conflicted mind. I settled for a lesser tomorrow and the sum of my desires constituted of wormless meals and the pleasant company of friendly molesters.
It’s not the walls, the bars or the guards that make the prison anymore. Our prison is the slow encapsulation of free will which comes from a lifestyle of conformity. Your life is not in your control and the worst part is that you are lead to believe that it is. A person who has spent all his life in prison knows nothing about prison. To him, his gritty reality is the beginning and end of paradise. And do you know how the hell we got here? We got addicted to a different class of psychedelics: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Tinder.
According to leading research, an average millennial spends more than 5 years of his life on social media. Holy Sh*t. That’s twice the amount of time porn addicts spend jerking off to their laptop screens. You were led to believe that was a waste of time. Well, guess what- jokes on you, cause you just spent 109,500 minutes tapping screens and typing LOL’s.
There is no rationale which can explain this pervasive loss of sensibility— we were born to be wild not sit on couches slurping slurries, reaching deep into a bowl of popcorn while mentally masturbating about the fact that we got 200 likes on our new post.
The 21st century is a world of instant gratification, and it’s not about the little things anymore. Every time we receive a text we get a surge of dopamine and our brain registers and longs for this pitiful excuse of a high. This cheap man’s cocaine is the reason that selfie sticks and dog-faced filters are more important than curing cancer. You want to buy something? F**k walking to the store, you go to Amazon it arrives the next day. Want to spice up your life? Netflix your way to success. You don’t even need to go through the tense experience of asking a girl out. The nervous palpitations that wash over you in that excruciating minute while you wait for her reply. Gone. Swipe right and bam you’re a stud.
Just like alcohol, social media is an elusive drug which corrupts and tangles your perception of reality, yanking you away from self-acceptance and sanity. All your life you’ve been sitting at a poker table where the person throwing the chips seems to have it all figured out. We live in a bright colourful world of filters, where every depraved loner with a two dollar Photoshop subscription can instantly put on a mask and ride out into the sunset, looking like he has it all figured out. And we look at these archetypes of beaming stupidity with overflowing respect and strive to emulate, falling hopelessly into a spiral of depression budding from constant comparison. Damn, I want t*ts like that or I need a girlfriend like that, is the battle cry of today’s trigger-happy jerkoffs diagnosed with chronic insecurity. Yet these statements echo across the internet like a wave of diffidence engulfing us and making us believe that candy land is just a step away. This why the ‘models’ at Chanel or L’Oreal can enjoy premium coke, scraping the last dollar from their bourgeois addicts whose only aim is to please the flash. Even the ugliest of people look better with some powder splattered across their faces and everybody looks hotter with the right filter. The curvy models, crazy parties, rock hard muscles you see on your Instagram feed are as real as a schizophrenic’s band of besties.
It doesn’t stop there. Instagram’s made us into these lobotomized, attention-seeking social media sluts who wank off meaningless Lmfao’s and LOL’s faster than Charlie Sheen in a sperm bank. All our individuality is sucked right out of us and not in a fun way. We follow the latest trends, share the latest memes, rant about the same mind-numbing problems day in and day out and in a sense, we become this one large community of screen tapping simians who instead of living the moment, live our life through screens. A slight anecdote captures this sentiment.
The slight breeze cooled her body as she paced away from the slight drizzle, into the shallow comforts of her room avoiding the gentle serenade of a cloudy night. The steady beat of pouring droplets quickened against her window as the rain hammered down trying desperately to gain her attention. The evanescent beads of water raced down her blurry window, conflating the world before her into an overwhelming mix of blurred clarity. Sadly, she was too preoccupied with helping society, to enjoy the blessing spectacle. The sacrifices martyrs like her make every day for our welfare. “Blessing the feed” of everyone around her with #Imwet or #mood instead of breathing in the fresh petrichor of the evening drizzle are noble concessions. It’s needless to say that this is a sort of a herd behaviour is followed only by the brave of our society.
Our dependence on external validation is like the decade-old Beiber Fever. Statistics indicate that 95% of the people are interested to know who liked their pictures or who viewed their stories; they feel that this is a way to publish an excerpt of their life and show the world that their life is 20x interesting than it actually is. Well if it was actually interesting then they would be enjoying it rather than f**king recording it. So essentially not only does their life suck d**k harder than Lindsey Lohan on absinthe but also, the only time that it doesn’t, they are busy creating videos of it rather than living it. We are trapped in this spiral and we don’t even realise it. Our addiction is more severe than we think it is. In 2013, when the Facebook server went down for 3 minutes, in that brief timespan 400 people had already called 911. Those are facts right fricking there.
Snorting the good coke, doing the right chick, and popping those pills pave the arduous path to self-exploration. You might end up smoking up the ganja till you go blind or might kick off a couple of years from your lifespan but who the hell really cares? Wouldn’t you rather live like a rock star till 27 than live nine to five till a 100? At the end of the day, you’ll end up dead. We live in a world of receding hairlines and youth’s all we got, so instead of posting stories cribbing about tomorrow’s test, make today matter. Do something stupid.
All your life you’ve searched for meaning in pages, looked for answers in grey classes, taught wisdom in cages. We have spent 12 years looking at a board from behind a desk and calling it living. But that’s only 12 years of a life sentence. You think graduation is your liberation, you’ll be spurned into a life of quick jobs and slow bucks, the only upgrade you’ll ever see in your pathetic life would be from a desk to a cubicle. And on your deathbed, as another corporate slave awaits the end of a lifetime of conformity, you will ask yourself: what will become of my legacy? You’ll be forgotten seconds later. The only remnants of your existence will be an unmarked grave and the wretched passport size picture of your pitiful face bleakly hanging in your son’s wallet. That’s true no matter what.
All I’m saying is make your life more than Netflix subscriptions, Snapchat streaks and post Malone covers. Your clock’s ticking and you’re dying one minute at a time, so stop staring at the moving hand and explore every sensation possible before you get hit by a car or get diagnosed with cancer.
~Adyant Chawla, Step-by-Step School Noida
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