Americans are hooked on happiness. In spite of The Declaration of Independence, we are not into the pursuit. We're into the grab.
We want it; we're taking it now. This is our culture of rabid entitlement, a desperate necessity, on display everywhere. From demanding a better freeway lane and aggressively clipping off another car to nail it, to the predictable new wave of identity hacks. The Equifax hack becomes the norm, because why bother with old-fashioned crime when you can grab it all?
We are not all hackers, certainly. But we are not immune to volunteering for a life hack or swapping out the old morality for the empty new.
Our time is about broadcasting a successful life, not living one.
I want to make sure everyone knows I have it.
See! Look at this glamorous dinner/selfie with friends/exotic locale/gorgeous house I live in. Posting scenes has taken the place of living a life. Just living is not enough. We have been swindled out of having a self, enjoying a personal experience, a private feeling.
I believe people are sizzling with anger and unhappiness, even as they giggle and post their next meal.
Keep in mind that lots of people confide in me.
Why else, if not internal rage and despair, is there so much hate and a growing enemy state right here in our neighborhoods?
We have Donald Trump, you should pardon the expression, a president who role models primitive reactive living. But let's not blame this empty king for our own behaviors.
We have happily bought social-media living and we choose to spend time there.
Further, we have sold out our lives to self-promotion on social media.
Sure, this was always the way in our society. Promote a social picture of how we want to be perceived. But now that social media is where we live, what that really means is that we live a 24/7 public-relations life.
Perhaps we don't understand that we only faux-reveal ourselves on social media.
Whether it's failure, depression, loss, or the inability to function, we hide ourselves in the social-media gauze where we have private groups to soothe our public bouts of despair. But we have traded in true connection and so grief is unending.