Put two crabs in a bucket, and none of them will escape.
This is what we call the crab mentality. An idea that for people to succeed, others must fail. Every time a crab tries to climb the bucket, another would pull it down.
Fifty years ago, the world was less connected, and people can do more by focusing on themselves and work harder. People need to put the effort first before they can achieve something.
Today, everything is interconnected. Internet, technology, and regulation all combine together to produce a more disruptive environment. The kind that would easily invade your personal space.
Social media allows people to connect with each other easily. But as anything in excess is bad for you, over-connected will eventually make the illusion that people — other people, are watching you, hence the need for a perfect persona.
Perhaps you don’t care about what people think of you. But you might still play the perfect persona game because you want to look good as others do on social media.
Either you want to have the perfect life they have, or as a comparison that you are better than them.
The word ‘social’ is no longer about being connected. It becomes a competition of what people think of you.
People are more connected to the internet than ever. Still, at the same time, people are more reluctant to do direct physical communication.
Text messages paved the way for us to communicate instantly, but it creates another problem. We now take time to think of the best possible answer. That’s probably why texting is favoured over a call conversation. Imagine replying 5 seconds after each sentence in a face to face chat. That’d be awkward.
Along with the benefit of connecting with someone quickly, comes a proportional drawback: people want faster or even near-instant replies.
The logic: because I can message you instantly, you must reply back immediately too. It would be rude not to do so.
You see, it doesn’t really make sense to expect instant replies. Let me explain why:
Instant messaging is like teleportation: instead of travelling miles to your friend house, you can merely popup in their phone and ask a question. Something that their other friends and families and colleagues can do.
Imagine if you got 5 friends, 2 of your family, and 3 colleagues in your house at the same time. Each of them asks you something and expect you to respond at the same time.
Would you respond to each and every one blazing fast, or would you take time for each person?
Let’s say that you’re a Jedi and you can control your thoughts completely (Even a Jedi master hardly do so. * cough * Luke). You’re able to use social media only when you need one, and you also can use instant messaging without being trapped by its drawbacks.
Then comes the titan of distraction: the environments. And really, the environments are the accumulation of all thing combined into one.
The billboards you see when you commute. The constant tug-of-war between human rights and security in a shape of regulation. The hot news popping up on your telly, phone, instant messaging news, and pretty much everywhere.
You can either try to ignore them (possible, if you’re a Jedi master), or you can try to shut them off.
Ignoring them needs reasonable control of your own mind. It’s like having a kid pokes you in the eyes, asking for your attention. Still, somehow you maintain your cool and undistracted. It’s not impossible, but it's hard.
Shutting them off would be the next choice, but to do so means to disconnect from the people. If you shut them off, people would start to adapt that you’re not one of the society. You lose the benefit of connected.
A useful invention is always a double-edged sword. Knives, dynamites, and now the technology to get connected to pretty much everything and everyone.
The better the tools, however, demands a better person to yield it to use the benefits well.
Balance is no longer a premise of dividing your in-work-time and out-of-work time. Balance is now more about how best you can control your mind vs accepting what you can’t change.
Sounds easy, but if it is, the rate of depression, suicide, stress should be lower by time. But it’s not.
The game has changed. To excel in life is no longer about working hard. It’s now about focusing hard.
Welcome to the age of transition.