According to Epictetus,happiness and desire cannot be found together“. Today, in fact, we no longer have time to desire: we must consume, and in the moment. And if it was happiness, it would be known…
Have the holidays taught us a bit to let go? If only in terms of frantic exchanges with others on our cell phones? Not so sure: whether at the edge of the beaches, in the mountains while climbing, or in the streets everywhere, we are riveted to our smartphones, including on the Greek ruins where we must immediately take the photo to send immediately to prove that we are there, and to “live” the Parthenon with the one who is in Ireland and who will send you the Lande in exchange… There is no more pleasure without witnesses. Could we say without sharing? But is it really sharing? Isn’t it rather providing a friendly voyeurism, intended to arouse envy or admiration? ” Look how interesting what I do is » : the gaze of the other is more important than mine alone.
” Do you have Wi-Fi? »
It’s mostly young people, you say? Easy ! We don’t have much to envy them in this regard, how many men (especially) pollute you with their conf-call at the Grand Paradis refuge, how many were worried before the hike: ” At least there is a network? “, then in the lost refuge:” Do you have Wi-Fi? “.
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Did you say right to disconnect? But it’s a duty that should be imposed, and it’s actually not so much the fault of the boss, it’s like the Stockholm syndrome, or it’s our existential boredom that is more to blame. You have to cling to something, to fill the existential void that you fill with connectivity. Not to mention all those who prefer their story on Instagram to the pleasure of living.
That we are addicted to consumption, which we are told every day that we will have to reduce, is one thing, but consuming life without tasting it as long as it goes quickly and with witnesses, you are talking about a compensation !
We empty our brains, the better to avoid thinking – no need, anyway when you can find your ready-to-think on Twitter.
We were told in the past that it was a joy to wait, that for each thing, it would be for later. Later than we could go out after midnight, later than we would have the right to… later than happiness would come with the conquest of a diploma, later love, the real one… All this seems to be over : it’s now, right now, I have the right to everything now or else I’ll freak out. Ill-being is our sanction. We are the fifth biggest users of antidepressants in the world, and that’s not to mention the “cool” puffs of anti-anxiety smoke that have become commonplace. France suffers from an addiction to stress and anti-stress.
So, I propose a back-to-school resolution: let’s slow down, unplug, resume normal mental activity.
Speak as soon as possible, and give up expressing yourself by SMS (think that now, we have reached the point of having to announce by SMS that you have left a voicemail!). Rediscover the pleasure of being bored, and above all teach it to children… It’s a chance, a treasure to have time to be a little bored, it’s another forgotten way of finding time: time which passes, without trying to pass the time. Inventing, reading, dreaming, escaping… And all this while finding your professional activity even more effectively, distinguishing speed from essentials or urgency. The only worthwhile decrease is that of the useless.