The saying is true, you are what you eat, consume, live to die for

To put things into perspective, in today’s world you are what you scroll through on your daily news feed, Instagram stories, RSS feeds, blog roll, TV, Netflix, Spotify so on & so forth.

In Elizabethan times people believed

That the human body contains blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile

Health is the state in which these constituent substances are in the correct proportion Pain occurs when one of the substances presents either a deficiency or an excess, or is separated in the body and not mixed with others.

A person with a dominant presence of blood was supposedly happy and generous. A dominance of yellow bile meant that the person was violent and vengeful. If a person were dull, pale, and cowardly it was presumed to be due to an excess of phlegm. Black bile justified someone’s gluttony, laziness, or sentiment.

Even manifested in ancient Indian - Ayurvedic diets & beliefs. You could tell a person’s character based on what kind of food they eat. A person eating pork, would most likely be obese and have thick skin. A person who eats goat meat, is sharp, agile & quick in nature.

Its almost the end of the year. Time for change, again

That time to reflect, take a step back relax, ponder. Ah, also it’s getting cold around here. Bangalore weather, a good day to write this blog post.

I’d been thinking of how much time I had spent these past years of my life - consuming news and media, and how they affected ‘my life’, at the very least. I’ve been using tech for the past 3-4 years of my life, every single day. Whether its the TV, phone or laptop. Let’s say 3h or be conservative & approximate it to a solid 1h a day.

That’s (1h*365*4)/24h or 60 days Two whole months? more like 4 to 5 in my case - back to back without any breaks. Did I really need to keep up with that subreddit? Group chat? Social Media? Keep up with the countless YouTube videos, buzzing HN articles populating my newsboat feed?

Would I have lost or missed anything if I hadn’t seen it in the first place?

In most cases, no. If you don’t remember it now it’s probably not important, its flushed out of your brain after a week. Nothing would have changed at the macro level, well except your precious time, time waits for no one, you can’t live another person’s life. Try as much as you want. Its not natural to paint your entire personality based on someone elses life.

As humans, we aren’t meeting or interacting with 1000s or millions of people every single day

Yet, thats how our digital lives play out, feeds populated by algorithm driven posts featuring varied tastes, curated opinions or fake portfolios that show the best of their lives, their ‘highlight reels’, the best photographs, videos, projects, polished & perfected over the years. Just look at the average Linkedin profile lmao.

You’re bound to compare yourself to them, it’s obvious, and there’s nothing wrong in self improvement

But, often I tend to lose myself, using ‘self improvement’ as an excuse. If you’ve used the stock youtube.com interface to consume videos hosted on YouTube. You’d fall the addictive recommendation engine. It’s their job, at YouTube (Google) to design a recommendation engine that keeps users watching. That’s their revenue model, to serve ads, keep users hooked and collect more data to curate their recommendation model.

I stopped using the stock youtube.com, I use plain RSS feeds now, not even Invidious or NewPipe. I’ve filtered out the recommended section using uBlock Origin on my browser. I’ve done the same thing for Reddit, Mastodon, LBRY, Twitter, Telegram, etc, moved everything to RSS feeds. Turned off the cron job for daily sync for newsboat. I set it up to check for updates only once in a month. Saving a huge chunk of time. I’d say at least 30 mins of my time.

You don’t eat over-eat, or poison yourself

Similarly, you don’t need to check social media every single day, now I’m reducing it to just once a month. You don’t need to drink or smoke every single day or party every single day until you burn out, rather you don’t poison yourself or smoke in the first place.

Create; not consume

Effort, is the first thing that should come to your mind. It’s easier to break things than build things. It is painful, fun and rewarding. At the end of the day you can be happy with what you have accomplished.

As a creator, writing this blog, making videos - I’ll always make room for people and live, real life conversations. Because it genuinely helps people, and I remember people. Although some use pseudonyms, I love exchanging ideas rather than consuming one way in a blog post.

Feel free to DM me and I’ll respond at a convenient time. Sparking connections with people is a productive use of time. Making videos and blog posts such as these, taking the pain in creating rather than consuming is the way to go.

Wait? you are what you consume?

If you don’t remember it now it’s probably not important, its flushed out of your brain after a week. Nothing would have changed at the macro level.

I started this article with these lines. There are people who are permanently glued to their phones. Yes, probably you, and me in some phase of our lives. You might not remember the photos you liked, the memes you upvoted after a few weeks, in that split second you chose to give in, pay attention for that shot of dopamine. This is the wrong way to tame your mind. At the end of the day, I mean month, that post wouldn’t have improved your life, and you probably don’t even remember it.

Influencers

Society has a name for these people, the ones who are powerful, have huge fan followings on social media, toxic fan bases - people spam comments, drooling over some generic new juicy news about their idols. I’m not going to take names, but its a shame how vulnerable; our communities can been moulded into. Companies milk every single opportunity, haunt you with emails asking you to partner with them - running ads, sponsorships and paid reviews in exchange for taming people via the food, the media they consume.

By having an untamed mind, distractions like these influence every single micro decision in our life. Pushing deadlines, missing meetings, bunking classes. It might be skipping homework, overdose of screen time, binging shows on Netflix, feeling depressed, Spotify making the most of of your depression hooking you into the cycle of similar soothing songs, self doubt, getting into a cult, whatever people are posting on Instagram these days. P.S > I deleted Instagram (Facebook) for other reasons) but yeah, our generation is armed with the worst tools that were designed to help us

All of these are fueled by AI, algorithms & our lucrative spongy brains, quenching its thirst for knowledge (dopamine)


I’d end with this beautiful quote

“Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” ― Socrates