The more you look around, the more you see hyperawareness and obliviousness alike. Everyone knows and cares so much about what’s happening in another state, another country; I believe, in due time, they will be in the loop with the day-to-day on Mars. But, if you ask them: how do you feel in this moment right now? They won’t have an answer or enough articulation to try to reach it. Unable to quote a news headline to justify their views and unable to rely on some sordid humour or a popular joke to suggest their disposition, they’ll sit there, dumbfounded. Within a few seconds of this paralysis, they will grow weary and irritated. Then, they will ask you not to bother them with such questions and trivialities when so much of so much more importance is going on in the world. All that, or their answer will be “okay”, as if they know what that means.
We are bombarded with such an unimaginable plethora of information, false and true alike, that our brains short-circuit and fry out. Then, slowly we lose control and watch as every ounce of individual agency is squeezed out of us. In a world with constant influx of information, tuning it out is rebellion. Tuning it all out is how you survive in a world where the voices don’t stop, and the pictures don’t stop moving.
But none of it can begin if you don’t take back your agency from those who use the lack of it to take something more valuable than a few dollars from you. They take your ability to answer the single, most important question known to mankind. The question is probably why we even have language in the first place; the question warrants only the most honest answer: how do you feel?
Human beings are the only animals who rarely feel just okay. We feel cold and bitter; warm and cosy; ecstatic and elated; distraught and broken; uncomfortable, insulted, furious, and enraged; bored, blasé and spiritless; tranquil, peaceful, and restful; inspired, inventive and creative. We feel glorious; we feel spectacular.
All this information has robbed us of all we can feel. We are all just okay as we go about our days; the loudness of all that information is jarring, and none of us stops to say: I am exhausted.