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This is Not Normal

If we see someone posting something pro-Trump on social media, we assume they’re a racist.

If we see someone posting something liberal on social media, we assume they’re a “snowflake.”

If we see someone posting anything on social media that is remotely different from what we believe, we passive aggressively comment and let our blood begin to boil. 

If politics come up in conversation with a group of people, we bow out of it choosing deflection over engagement.

We label our friends, we argue with our families, we scream at screens, we hide behind keyboards, and we mindlessly click.

This is not normal.

We keep our kids from walking our streets, running through woods, and playing in creeks, teaching them unintentionally that play is a treat, not our core being.

We hand our kids a phone or remote instead of getting on the ground and playing with them, teaching them that whatever it is we’re doing is more important than engaging.

We do everything in our power to keep our kids safe, teach them the rules, impose our will, and force them in line, instead of teaching them how to think for themselves, explore, and make decisions.

We do all of these things in the name of helping our children, but do it at the expense of teaching them to help themselves.

This is not normal.

We click headlines for their shock value.

We share articles without reading them.

We wait impatiently for the little red dot after a new post.

We view everyone else’s highlight reel and compare it to our lowlight reel.

We share inspirational quotes and stories without applying them in our life.

We post our “hell yeahs” for the world to see but keep our “oh sh*ts” to ourselves.

We replace tangible reality with virtual insanity.

This is not normal.

Our schools consider ketchup a vegetable. (Seriously.)

Our hospitals keep their fridges free of fat, but full of sugar.

Our headlines and news stories make us think if our kid gets the flu they’re gonna die, and if we travel while pregnant, we’re gonna get zika.

We prefer to read marketing slogans over ingredient lists.

Our collective medical intelligence increases, but our collective health decreases.

Our doctors are trained to sell drugs instead of solutions.

We look for the answers in listicles instead of seeking and learning on our own.

This is not normal.

People say that every generation thinks that it’s worse than it really is.

And I hope they’re right.

But what I do know to be true is that we’re facing dramatically different problems than ever before. Problems that are making us less and less human at a fundamental level.

Human connection, the very thing that got us to where we are today, is being replaced by virtual “community.” Our friends are icons and images, not flesh and blood.

We no longer know how to disagree. Instead, you’re either on our team or your not. And if you’re not, you’re an enemy. We’re divided, with unity nowhere in sight.

We have the answers to health at our fingertips, but we can’t get past the marketing and lobbying of Big Food to understand them.

We have a generation that uses terms like “adulting” because their parents did them the injustice of ever letting them make bad decisions, learn from them, and grow up.

These are not just normal generational struggles that every group faces.

These are hurdles that make being a functioning adult difficult for a huge chunk of society. Unhappiness and suicide are on the rise, and we’re failing to point back to the crumbling infrastructure of what it means to be human: genuine community, healthy debate, hard work, learning through failure, and seeking truth, not tabloids.

The solution to the problem?

To stop doing the sh*t mentioned above. If we want to be happily functioning humans, we have to first get back to being human.

This is not normal. And it won’t change until we do.

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