The Straight Poop on the Endless Loop

“More more more
How do you like it how do you like it
More more more
How do you like it how do you like it
More more more
How do you like it how do you like it

Oooh how do you like your love
Oooh how do you like your love”

When former porn star and disco singer Andrea True recorded the song, More, More, More by Gregg Diamond, one could argue she was in a prime position to express a few home truths about the culture of satisfaction. In a way, her song is as timely today as it was in the 1970s and speaks with knowing awareness that the fans of want can be flamed with repetitive speech. I wrote more about this in an earlier post if you are interested.

If I had a problem, just one problem, it would be that I wonder too much as I fail to follow orders. I’m just a butthead when it comes to conformity, which is why I struggle with the endless loop and the so-called truths of a writer’s existence. You would think the endless loop would be something like think-write-edit-repeat, but somewhere along the line there came the idea that everyone had to platform, too, had to be something more than just a quietly obsessed creative introvert and instead had to find, burnish, and display an interesting personality.

The problem is, the biggest endless loop of them all is social media. Pushed by that indomitable force, Dopamine, which embarks on endless searches for content, chanting “if I just post here,” “if I just paste there,” like a hog searching for truffles among oak roots, we are victims of our anticipation of good things which almost always exceed reality.

This all reminds me of the time I went to a Tony Robbins event and did the Firewalk before I  was deemed a positive thinking washout.

Don’t get me wrong, I chanted myself into oblivion to the heady drum music while stamping on the wet grass, feet freezing, before toddling across the hot coals, attendants pushing from behind like I was in line to see the pope. Truth was, we all knew if I slowed down, I would burn my feet, and some contrary tendency made me pause for just a second to see if I would feel the heat–and I did–right before the attendants hastened me along just ahead of my third degree burns, thus ending my query as to the “magic” of the Firewalk, a “miracle” readily explained by physics.

That night I went home exhausted, dehydrated, hoarse, and unsure. Part of me said I should feel great and admittedly I was caught up in some of the fervor for a time, even gathering a bunch of the ashes from the firewalk as a keepsake in a big cup from Jack-in-the-Box. Years later, I would look at it in wonder at the weird stuff people do when bored in a robust economy.

AdobeStock_22452426.jpeg

Midway through Saturday of the event, I’d had enough attempts to bully me into believing in the power of my mind. Trust me, I was already convinced that my mind had power–power enough to decide I never wanted to be self-actualized again. I simply didn’t care anymore, had stopped  jumping up and down in my chair, had lost all interest in NLP techniques to “anchor” to sex as my power motivator as if nothing else in the world mattered.

One young woman got so mad at me because I wasn’t rocking out as hard as the rest of our row and they were trying to get Tony to notice them. I pointed out that logically, he was much more likely to notice us with me standing there in skeptical contrast than he would be had I been shaking my wares with the best of ’em. I was simply to exhausted with the whole thing, and like the hamster on the wheel, stopped moving and was flung from the experience.

giphy

Years later, something even worse happened: SOCIAL MEDIA. Love it? Hate it? Love it! Hate it! The stuff gets in the way of production yet attracts us over and over again as if things will be different, and we start again, we think we’ve learned something, and we hop on the wheel and go for another spin. It’s that dopamine again, making us want more, more, more, and we can’t stop ourselves. This is the problem with the endless loop.

This all sounds dismal, really dismal, and the more I consider how social media has changed my own life and the lives of my kids, the less I like what I see. Instead of more, more, more, I’m seeking less, less, less in hope of achieving a meaningful minimum.

Tomorrow’s Topic: What is a meaningful minimum and how do you define it for yourself?

16 thoughts on “The Straight Poop on the Endless Loop

  1. At
    I saw myself in this…”chanting “if I just post here,” “if I just paste there,” like a hog searching for truffles among oak roots, we are victims of our anticipation of good things which almost always exceed reality.” I am the hog. On so many levels. I will be reading tomorrow’s post.

  2. This is spot on and brilliant. I know we have shared our thoughts on social media in other posts. For me, things changed when I stopped using the ‘like’ button on Facebook. I am much more intentional in my use of social media. The platforms have a purpose and I am alright with that. I also know when I was hospitalized for a month, social media kept me connected to my support system. I would have gone crazy without the ability to ‘chat’ with people who were far away. It’s not all bad. We need to take control of how we interact with the platforms and the role they play in our lives.

    1. Denise, you illustrate one of the best uses of social media in keeping up engaged with others at times when we need distraction and support. I was fine with social media before I’d heard much about platforming for writers. Now, I find so much testimonial that writers must platform, and while it makes sense for self-published works, perhaps the one-size-fits-all idea needs to be reexamined on a wider basis. Given the use of ever more sophisticated algorithms to hook our attention, we need to be on our guard. I wonder where we will be with all if this in the coming decades. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      1. I think too many people confuse platforming with intentional use. You can’t just push, push, push all your stuff out there and think it will work. Social media works when you take time to build relationships – because (duh!) that is how true connections are made! Invest in your social media relationships if you want to build a successful platform. Maybe it is because I work in outreach and build connections in “real life” every day, but that just seems to make the most sense for me. It’s not about me, me, me. To be successful, social media should be as much (if not more) about the other person. The majority of my time on social media is providing positive comments to others, sharing other people’s work, and checking in with friends and family. Yes, of course I share my own work. But I share others more frequently. Thanks as always for making me think!

  3. I don’t know if it’s introversion or fear of looking like the searching hog, but I tend to do very little platform building – I still feel a stab in the gut when I share my own stuff. I wonder why (many) writers think the endless loop of self promo is going to work. Like the salesman who came to my door four times in one day, I’ll respond if I’m interested. If I’ve ignored your pitch the first three (or 300) times and you ring my doorbell again, I’ll answer, but it won’t go well.

    I think finding balance is the trick. In what we do ourselves as well as how we handle splatforming. Now I must go to Twitter and unfollow some folks who sent a dm today : )

    1. We need that on a t-shirt, “I’ll answer, but it won’t go well.” Ya, about splatforming, it seemed like a joke or an insult the first time that term occurred to me, but that was back in the olden days before Dante’s Inferno added this new, latest level… By the way, I sent you a DM for a webinar my ducks are running on my pond this summer. You’d get so much out of it and its cheap at twice the price. Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope you write a story about the salesman ringing your doorbell four times. I laughed reading that. Poor sucker must be a man of great faith. Next time, Damcat should tree his leg a few times and send him on his way.

      1. I will write about that salesman, and a friend who behaved like that over her mlm products until I lost it. I look forward to the duck webinar. Is there a special bonus for all who stay until the very end?

  4. This…is beautiful, and I’m sharing it. So spot-on. The ratrace and being told what we HAVE to do to succeed…when plenty are succeeding without doing the “requirements”…argh. Love the eloquence and insight here.

  5. This is thought provoking and I love it. I, too, have become a bit annoyed with what we have to do to be whatever, but right now for me, it is writer. Why do I have to write a book or novel? I think I should write what I like and since I have a blog, it can be written and read there. Thank you for the beautiful writing and the truth of much too much.

    1. I love it when I hear someone take charge of her/his own experience. Are you doing a blog a book type of thing? A friend (Nina Amir–“How to Blog a Book” has had great success with that approach. I’ll have to double check that I’m following you and see what gene you are writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and commenting too.

  6. This is a fantastic post. As an addict (I quit tobacco and drink many years ago – then the internet, then specifically social media took their place), a personal growth junkie, and a born rebel, I totally resonate. I seem to spend all day saying (whining?) about more or less everything – ‘it’s not one size fits all. It’s never one size fits all.’ But I’ve had so many good experiences with social media too. The trouble is, with drink and cigarettes, I knew it was either all or nothing. It’s been nothing now for 25 years (otherwise I’d be dead) and that’s been fine. So how to deal with the social media addiction. As you point out, it’s largely about brain chemicals. Sorry if this is an incoherent ramble – your writing is so thought-provoking. Looking forward to the next post.

    1. Valerie, no incoherence in what you are saying. Addiction is a big topic in our household and internet addiction falls into a category like food where many people must partake of some of it to do their work. I’ve been watching the recommendations go by for the last couple of years which tell writers that they MUST do social media as a part of their platforming, wonder if these opinions come from addicts or simply from people who don’t care what harm they sell us. I want to write the spectrum–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and then share some tools based on the best research available out there to allow people to use social media without creating greater harm in the world or to themselves. Copywriting, rhetoric, and ample persuasion are tricks as good for the goose as for the gander. I believe we could lead, love, and support ourselves to a healthier balance. Thank you for taking the tim to write me such an affirming comment. I am inspired to be working on this.

  7. Great post and very though provoking. “The stuff gets in the way of production yet attracts us again and again.” Very true and for so many of the reasons you point out. It’s often hard to find a balance.

  8. Thank you for this, Tonia.

    It has been said that giving is the only antidote to materialism, not more-more-more. And the same is true for interaction on social media. It’s about giving, not pontificating or strutting to the front of the line and shouting, like a high school cheerleader. I struggle to find topics to blog about. There’s little in my life that’s impressive! But it’s only when we share our life experiences that we make friends and form connections through social media.

    I think most of us are accustomed to television commercials, and we use social media as if we had a captive audience to bray at. Buy-buy-buy. Nope, not buying the Ray Ban sunglasses.

  9. My wake up call was a couple of weeks ago, when hearing of a disaster I looked first at FB for news. Talk about dumbing yourself down! Maybe social media is the millennial version of the 80s soap opera. It’s like we are all voyeurs into someone else’s idea of what the world should be about.

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