I’m Losing My Mind
Don’t do this. Do this. Think about this. Buy this…be this.
It’s a constant barrage on the psyche — information provided by all the sources a robust internet can provide — understanding that no two people will process or interpret the information exactly the same way.
Perhaps that is the game. Or, end game?
Think about the telephone game for a minute and how we have all at one time or another participated. It always starts out innocently enough and quickly, with a few miss-placed facts or incorrect phrasing, a seemingly harmless story about John becomes a matter of life and death…perhaps I have some incurable form of cancer but what it actually is — a bad case of athlete’s foot. The condolences start pouring in and I’m the only one not in on the now tragic news because I should already know I’m dying. Right?
It may sound ridiculous but this is by-product of having information at our finger tips 24/7 and in copious amounts. Sure, you would think access would cut down on misinterpretations and, you would be mistaken. The unfortunate side-effect of a world where we are continually plugged in to a massive ebb of information is that we no longer take a person or people at face value.
We’ll go back to the “I’m dying” scenario. I’ll just make up a fictional cancer I could be dying of — peteriotosisits forachio (catchy, yes?) and the number of people who will immediately go to google to understand and perhaps offer advice on how to save myself from this horrible affliction. It doesn’t take long before you’re on the third, fourth even fifteenth page to find something to completely contradict the top ten results on page one. And there’s comfort in that and you’re off to the races.
Today, I read an article in the news about eggs. It turns out eating eggs every day (as I do) has serious health risks and I could potentially die of a heart attack. I like eggs. It’s a good source of protein and I’m 55 and looking and feeling much young than the age I am. Yet, I could drop tomorrow simply for eating too many eggs. Doctors and shit. Yes. They did some study. There’s nothing else attached to it — the overall health of the people they studied, the other foods they may have been eating. Nope. It’s eggs.
In August, 2018 — less than a year ago, the same publication ran a story on eggs and the difference in the headline was that those 3 eggs a day were good for you. They raised the good cholesterol and that only a few people would be susceptible to a form of LDL which could be harmful.
You’ve probably read the stories lately about how alcohol, consumed daily can increase your odds of living longer and in some instances is better than running…yet, there are multiple case studies done showing that many of the oldest people on our planet all share something in common — they drink.
But wait a minute — The Lancet Medical Journal — the most trusted, peer reviewed source for scientific study claims that alcohol kills.
So what is it?
Canada recently changed their food guide — 50 years of telling us what was healthy to eat. Now, look at the foods no longer recommended as healthy. It took them 50 years and cancer rates to go from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 2 to realize something wasn’t right. What was the process? Who ultimately said “hey wait a minute, we’re actually killing people with our daily recommended intake”?
Ironically, there are still a lot of products on the food guide that humans should not be ingesting. Milk anyone? I enjoy cheese as much as the next person but the recommended servings per day are ridiculous.
Going off on a side tangent for a moment, the food guide always seems to be tied to consumerism and agriculture. There are more than enough studies that counter any of the pro milk (powerful lobbyists) talk versus the “why the hell are we the only species that consumes another’s breast milk?” I can tell you personally that when I stopped consuming it, a host of issues with my health went away. Maybe that’s not for everyone but studies show…
Where was I?
Oh yes. The more information we have, the less likely we are to make an informed decision. I actually wasn’t trying to close the loop here but I do like the conclusion. It’s more of an opinion based on personal observation.
I currently look at the healthiest people in my immediate network, including myself and I can extrapolate many similarities: a lot of us are on some modified diet centered around either paleo or keto or some derivative where we’re eating more proteins (vegetable or meat based) and more veggies, drink more water, eat plenty of eggs and nuts but stay away from the dairy and grains, cereals — a lot of stuff health Canada and hospital foods are based on.
We’re also generally sick less, more active and almost all of those people I’m referring to have an incredible ability for critical, uncluttered thought process where we can have open and healthy debate and conversation.
On the flip side, those around me who tend to eat more along the guidelines or rely on processed and fast food — they tend to be more closed off around ideas that contradict page one on google. They’re good with the narrative, they trust what mainstream is feeding them and it dawned on me there was a time, not too long ago where I consumed along the lines of health Canada’s recommended. I was overweight, I had constant aches and pains, didn’t sleep well and my brain wasn’t great at processing a whole lot of information.
I can tell you one thing, I wasn’t sitting at my computer pounding out blogs like this at that point in my life. I was watching reality TV, going to all kinds of sporting events, drinking excessively and eating the kind of foods that had me spring up to a rather unhealthy 260lbs in a 5' 11" frame. Add the smoking in and I was a heart attack on a stick.
What’s the point of even writing all of this? To confirm what most of you who are still with me already know? The person I’m talking about stopped reading after the first paragraph, if they even bothered to click. The title may have just been compelling enough to bring them in but when they quickly figure out I’m not having a mental breakdown, they’re on to something more in the “clickbait” realm.
Hey. You’re still here which means we have a lot in common or, you’re patiently scrolling through to see just how full of shit I may be. Either way, thank you.
There’s a serious problem. We can’t talk about anything anymore. People have become reclusive on social media, opting to lurk in the shadows for fear their opinion on something will open them up to ridicule, anger or even threaten their employment. Sound familiar? I think about the last time I read 1984…
I always joke these days — “hey, you can have an opinion, as long as it’s the same as my opinion.”
Immediately, there are 20 people on my social media list that I know well and I refuse to engage them or acknowledge any of their posts. These are people that will be all over the New Zealand tragedy, posting all the theories about guns, gun control, radicalism, racism and any other hot button word or phrase that will get a person fired up. They aren’t connected to it. They just want you to know they read the same mainstream papers or listen to the same news casts you do. Only, they really understand what’s going on. They get it.
You probably don’t. They will fight you to the death or, unfriend you.
It’s only two days into the tragedy and 49 people lost their lives. Hundreds more will be affected for years to come and the only thing we should really be focused on is whether or not we’re doing enough. Are we being kind enough? Understanding enough? Are we listening? Mental health is at top of mind these days but is it all talk? Does anyone here really think someone could take multiple lives and not have a serious mental defect?
No. We’ll blame it on hot buzz words like terrorism or racism. A person was broken, by society. A sane, balanced and caring person would not do something like this. So when will we recognize that slapping a label on one person and attempting to draw parallels with a whole nation of people doesn’t solve the problem.
If you haven’t noticed — we’re at war with the media. They want you to buy into the narrative there’s a imminent race war at foot. They want you to be cautious of your neighbor, especially if they have different ideologies or skin colour. They want you to believe that there is danger and it is always lurking.
The reality is far more different. Your odds of dying of a heart attack are about 1 in 6. Cancer? 1 in 7 (based on 2017 stats) Opiod overdose 1 in 91, car accident 1 in 103 and so on. I’ll share an excerpt from a think tank that studies terrorist events:
The 2011 Report on Terrorism from the National Counter Terrorism Center notes that Americans are just as likely to be “crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year” as they are to be killed by terrorists.
Fear and the unintended misgivings of a media that is in the business of making money contribute to much of the knee jerk reaction-ism. Over the next week, we’ll see a call to even further restrict the use and or ownership of firearms and people will be on high alert for anyone that even remotely resembles a person who could be a white supremacist.
Meanwhile, approximately 4 people are killed every day in Canada due to drunk driving. If you do the math, you quickly understand that our response to tragedy is directly related to its sensationalism. Now if this offends you, I’m OK with that.