How does it make you feel to know that you’re missing something right now that you would enjoy or benefit from?
It’s a lot different now than it was in years past. Before we had the Internet and smartphones and TV’s with a billion channels, including channels that broadcast the news 24/7/365 (next year, 24/7/366), it wasn’t such a big deal, was it? It might be weeks before you knew about the party you missed, or the niece or nephew that was born, or about something that happened in Bhutan ten minutes ago. In those days, you might not even know where Bhutan was, let alone what’s going on there.
Look closely. It’s that little green spot in the middle of the map. (source: Wikipedia)
No, it was easy to be blissfully ignorant of what was going on half a world away. Now, not so much. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan goes to the bathroom, and suddenly it’s all over Twitter. You don’t see it? You’re just not following the right people on Twitter! My God, what’s wrong with you? Maybe the tweets are written in Dzongkha (the official language of Bhutan), but that’s no excuse. Shame on you!
We hear a lot about FoMO these days, the “fear of missing out.” It’s the condition of finding out that something happened and you weren’t a part of it. Another name for it is paranoia. It’s a psychosis, an abnormal condition of the mind described as “involving a loss of contact with reality,” Wikipedia tells us. I mean, there are 7,385,485,816 people in the world as of this moment (Friday afternoon at about 1500 EST), including the roughly 750,000 in Bhutan. Read that again:
three hundred eighty-five million
four hundred eighty-five thousand
eight hundred sixteen people!!!
There is no way you can know what each of those people is up to every minute of every day, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five and a quarter days a year, like the guys on Person of Interest do. You can’t. You’ll go crazy trying. I think they cancelled Person of Interest, as a matter of fact, because people probably said, “who’d be crazy enough to want to know what everyone in the world is doing every minute of every day? You’d have to be koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs!”
So, you’re going to miss something. You’re going to miss a lot of somethings. Don’t worry about it. Enjoy what’s going on around you. Forget about everything else. In fact, shut all your devices off right now. Pretend you’re on a flight around the world on Bhutan Airlines and you’re about to land, so turn off all electronic devices, put your seats and tray tables in their fully upright and locked position, ensure that your seat belt is securely fastened low and tight around your waist, and remain seated for the duration of your flight. Don’t worry about the things you’re going to miss. Just enjoy looking out the window as the plane lands at Paro Airport. Relax.
Ladies and gentlemen, the National Anthem of Bhutan, “Druk Tsendhen” (“འབྲུག་ཙན་དན་”), or “The Thunder Dragon Kingdom”…
And, because the King’s name looks like it ends with “Wang Chung,” “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.”
This is my entry for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Hope you liked it…