It's hard to stay silent. It's hard not to be angry. It's hard to understand just what is going on. It's hard to keep cool. It's hard to keep feeling sad. I wake up and I instantly open my iphone and start reading. Bad news always hits first, and hardest. The algorithms that be must now know that I click through, that I take the bait. And so they learn, but I do not. I learn of the terrors and the horrors and the tragedies, but I do not learn how to moderate my exposure, I do not learn how to be a better human. I feel anger. I feel hopelessness. And I shouldn't. I don't want to. I want to feel like I can make a difference, that I am part of something greater than me. That's hard right now. I'm too connected, and too dependent on my information. I need it. I crave it. But when I get it, I wish that I hadn't. I wonder if I'm part of the problem. I wonder if the sickness will get me. I wonder if my plane will go down. I wonder if I will be a news story. I wonder if people will care if I die. I wonder if I'm important. I have more questions than answers. My feelings confuse me. And all of this seems to be some people's goal. To make us feel these things.
I haven't written in a while, because I just didn't see the point. That happens frequently, I'll talk myself right out of it, and justify it as the right thing to do, so as not to clutter the internet with more useless words. But at the same time, I tweet, I retweet, I snark on facebook, I post my pictures on instagram and check my likes, I do a lot of dabbling and jabbing, but I don't come with my real punches. Then I wonder why. I wonder sometimes for hours, while incessantly scrolling and numbing my brain until I fall asleep with the lights on and the door open, only to wake up at 4 am in a groggy haze to talk myself out of flossing because it's a full ten feet away and I just did it two days ago anyway.. I feel a terrifying malaise, and today I want to put it into words, with my only hope being to try and break the spell and release it from my being. I can do better. Even just now, I just tried to convince myself to take a break, go lay in bed and check my social media feed. It's an addiction, of that I am certain, and I believe it to be damaging to my psyche. I don't want to be disconnected and uninformed, but I don't need to be a slave to information. And sometimes (more and more frequently, unfortunately) I get lost in the comments. Oh Jesus, the comments. Where stupidity runs rampant, heels entrench, and shit perpetually slings. The horror... But that is us. That isn't insignificant, that is a slice of humanity. Not the end all definition, but a certain essence of it. A very fearful essence.
I think this brings me around, and a little closer to my point. At least the point of this essay. I am an endlessly curious person. It's most definitely the fuel for said media addiction, I'm just always digging, watching, learning, wondering.. but that curiosity is also what keeps my creativity fed. Because information itself is not biased or full of spin, the delivery services are. The agenda comes from the humans, who create the content, and then choose what to do with it in wildly various ways. What we are confronted with on our screens is generally whatever will elicit the most emotion. Because we all have to make a buck, and there's less bucks with less looks. And how much can we actually look at and digest? It feels a competition, and in so many ways, it is.
So what do I want to add? What can I say that hasn't been said? I'm still unsure. I probably always will be. In terms of words in long form, they come in waves. Music and phrase come more often than that, but even those tend to be cyclical. When it comes to sharing my thoughts on life and humanity, the medium that often makes the most sense to me is photography. Through the face, the posture, the situation, the movement, the emotion.. It's matter of fact, it's telling while also being mysterious, it's the slowing down of a moment for process and thought. It's a gathering of evidence. It's us, and I think it's important. It's important for us to see ourselves as human. It's important for me to study and understand, and it also feels like a small way that I can help others do that as well. I hope to provoke some higher thought, and to help stem the tide of disconnection and apathy. There is just so much to be curious about, and so much to do. I'm an advocate for curiosity.
I invite you to send me a message. Are you someone with a story you'd like help sharing? Is someone you know? I want to help. Let's shoot. The photos included here are the vibe. Some of them I know well, but most I do not. I see stories in them, in the moments they are in. I don't really know where this idea will go just yet, but no matter. It's begun, and I hope it always continues to evolve and surprise me. All ideas and thoughts are welcome.
Thoughtbox submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
I've started an instagram account specifically for the black and white collection, please do follow along @theimpossiblehuman.
Some color selections below as well. Much love.