Do you remember when young people might routinely say to someone ‘No offence, yeah, but….’ before sharing excoriating insights, or deeply wounding personal observations?
Reminiscent of O’Brien’s approach to the relentless conversion of Winston to love Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984, it’s the gap between what is being stated and what the listener experiences that becomes so painful.
Take – in a small leap – the subject of mindfulness.
There are now more than 1000 mindfulness apps available – all designed to help and support disconnecting from the greedy-attention-absorbing–digital world.
And all of them function by …..greedily absorbing our attention.
An article this week by technology journalist Bianca Bosker describes the unlikely attraction of an app that seeks to do exactly what it claims: no gap between stated promise and experience.
It is called ‘WeCroak’.
Inspired by a Bhutanese saying (and Buddhist belief) – ‘to be a truly happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily’ the app simply sends 5 reminders every day stating ‘don’t forget, you’re going to die’.
Ms Bosker experiences a strange relief from the click-bait / over-sharing app world. Despite the – unflinching? shocking? – purpose and subject of WeCroak, the pure congruence of claim and experience ultimately delivers something special.
The non-invasive clarity, the simple delivery of what has been promised, proves more refreshing over time than any number of meditation or mindful or pause apps with their constant messaging, visual entertainment and over exuberant communication.
The article’s title neatly reverses the phrase ‘ping of death’, which in tech circles used to mean a destructive attack on a system effected by sending an oversized data package.
And it’s this notion of ‘too much’ that links the ‘no offense, yeah’, O’Brien, and calmness apps that don’t calm us.
Too big a gap between assertion and experience is exhausting to decode.
There is just too much (conflicting) data to process.
Perhaps there are other non-Bhutanese sayings that might help with our mental, and physical, health.
Something like ….‘say what you mean to say, do what you mean to do’ would surely help all our energy levels.