Am I the problem?

Everything on my YouTube feed is screaming, “You’re Doing It Wrong!” (insert an angry-looking AI-generated middle-aged influencer here). I can’t shake this nagging feeling, so I resort to whitewashing my emotions on Instagram. Once I tire of aesthetically crafted photos on Insta, I mindlessly doom-scroll through my BFF TikTok until my little heart can’t take it anymore.
Did you know that we’re apparently all going to melt in 6 days and 66 minutes? But hey, who’s counting, right? ‘Hey is for horses,’ and I’m not fooling around with this impending meltdown. Where was I? Oh yes, I’m the problem. Amidst my mid-life crisis self-searching, I realized that my career wasn’t fulfilling enough, so I pursued what I thought would be more meaningful. And while I don’t doubt its potential, the more I consume to create better content, the more it nags at me.
I know this isn’t groundbreaking news for most.
But, if you’ll indulge me, as the world seemingly burns in Hot Cheeto Flames, the algorithm bombards me with unrealistic demands: move to Japan, eat the most exotic fish, save over 2 million dollars for retirement, and quit one of my vices like smoking, drinking, or sugar (apparently everyone has at least one). The cycle goes on and on, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been contributing to this nonsense.
I find myself justifying overindulgence, whether it’s ice cream or stuffing my face with plastic-laden instant ramen and consuming fast food regularly. It’s all taking a toll on how we consume content, leaving me feeling, well, lost. As I type this, I’m using the aid of AI, something that seems unavoidable in our world dominated by social media, dictating our thoughts and promoting excessive consumption. In my case, it pushes me to watch, mimic, and create.

Now, some may argue that we humans are programmed to copycat, rinse, and repeat. While algorithms, AI, and social media have become integral parts of our daily lives, I don’t want to lean further into this whirlwind. Or do I embrace the chaos, juggle through the comical absurdity, and find my slice of happiness – even if it’s just a cake on a shaky plate?


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