There are many frivolous, trivial things and people that distract us and keep us from that which is truly basic and important these daze: Justin, Donald, Kim (Kardashian), cellphones 24/7, pipelines, driverless cars, selfies, etc. Much as in Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much with Us”, we spend our finite transient hours “getting and spending”. Out of touch with ourselves and one another, we are largely alienated from Nature and our immediate physical surroundings.
Above all, thinking and common sense have fallen out of favor and are to be avoided like the plague. We are obsessed only with ego, limited/limiting agendas, and ourselves, viewing ourselves as entitled perpetual victims sans any personal responsibility. In particular, our distracting limited agendas drive our choices. We have simultaneously become ‘connected’, yet isolated from ourselves and the lonely crowd. Doing as the herd-multitudes blindly do, staring into our church-like screen-shrines has created a narrow, limited platform for living, purpose, and meaning. It is, as we used to call it in the ’60s–a plastic or machine-like existence of no great matter or depth, signifying nothing/ness.
Although you could argue that this d-technology obsession is money and materially driven by corporations with their own agendas, ultimately, personal and individual choices and sellouts on a mass basis were made to both facilitate and foster a mass enslavement. I hear the same voice that book and reading aficionado Sven Birkerts once heard that says “Resist it”. And we have no one to blame for any shallowness, soulessness, and purposelessness in our lives and time except ourselves.
Ironically, in the end, the world of 1984 came to pass via a freely-chosen obsession with mere shiny gadgetry, truly leading us to the state of T.S. Eliot’s “Hollow Men”. The self-destructive submission process was an all-too easy, lazy on without a whimper. People sold out mindlessly and easily and required no external Orwellian dictator to strip us of what once was of most value: our minds and souls.