“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. -Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
Life is tough on the best of days. People are constantly looking for an escape from the ordinary. Let’s face it, much of life is lived in the mundane. We brush our teeth daily, we sleep (usually not enough), most of us work, pay bills … I think you get the idea. So when the pressures or the boredom of life sets in where do we turn? Social media, the web, gaming, sports we all have our favorites. I want to focus on a couple of things that should give us a cause to pause and re-evaluate.
The internet has been one of the greatest inventions in the last 100 years. Instantaneous information has improved our lives greatly, but with everything given something is always lost. I will not dwell on the obvious, people looking at phones and foregoing interacting with human beings. I want to give a word of caution to the sites we might follow. It only takes a cursory look to discover people on the web with deep problems. The number of negative, racist and cruel things said online through sites, social media and other outlets are concerning. We had an old adage used in computer programming: “Garbage in, garbage out”. I won’t spend a great deal of time talking about the multi-billion dollar industry of pornography, white supremacy, or political blogs that destroy any sense of decency for public debate or decorum. These are rabbit holes we should avoid, they are mine fields that destroy people in the name of “entertainment”.
I was recently made aware of how violent and disturbing the actions and dialog of some online gaming sites. There is a part of the web that is referred to as “The Dark Web”. Our children are being exposed to things we never encountered while growing up. This fantasy that some people live in, provided by the web, can alter a person’s perception of reality. Online sports gambling, prior to virus outbreak was growing at an alarming rate. The illusion of getting rich has always been alluring to some people. The gambling industry will let you bet on virtually anything you can think up. I have personally seen many lives destroyed by gambling addictions. Again, these are rabbit holes that should be observed with caution.
My final rabbit hole I would like to mention is the toxic political environment that exists in America today. As a child, religion and politics were tagged as conversations to avoid. There is good reasoning behind avoiding these subjects in groups and sometimes one on one, they polarize people like little else does. It is amazing how many political experts exist on the web today. It seems we have a plethora of political experts, specialists, pundits I will let you fill in the blanks. This is a rabbit hole that looks so inviting until you find yourself descending into its depths.
These are not all inclusive, but serve to make the point, take caution where you spend your time. There is a beautiful earth God has given to all of us, explore its wonders. Read a good book. Play with your dog. Watch a two year old playing, it really is a marvel how those little minds work. Most importantly, take care of what you see, hear and ingest into your mind. There are some rabbit holes we should never look down, much less jump in.