Affect of A Wrong Timeline
The past haunts us, like the pain from an old wound.
Teddy told me in Greek, Nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound.
— Don Draper
Affect: feeling, emotion, mood
There are two kinds of pain in this world. The pain that hurts, the pain that alters.
— Robert McCall
It has become all the rage for digital detox hucksters, and credentialed class experts to cash in on our collective pain from old wounds. These are the timely replacements for the self-esteem enlightenment seekers of the seventies. And those seekers were eventually replaced by the therapy culture fanatics who sent us too far inwards in search of a new god, the self. They commanded us to ask what we really wanted and to go out and get it. No demand was off-limits. They insisted we truly get in touch with our feelings in order to gratify the self. Nobody ever told us to think.
The detox hucksters emerged a decade ago calling for dispensing with the digital soma through all manner of enlightened and sophisticated replacements, always a crowd favorite ever since, and yet immediately ignored after the standing ovation. The applause is a performative act, both an acknowledgment of the source wrapped in the pretense to dispense with it one day in the future they know will never come. A celebratory gathering and admittance of the root of many ills that will result in no meaningful move to action. It is hardly an endorsement of the analog past as one expects because each one applauding will retreat the instant new notification pings their Pavlovian obedience right back to the source of their malaise. Incapable of dispensing with the source they turn to spit on the blaze with meditation apps or self-help podcasts and other delusory solutions to believe progress is just around the corner. The pain that hurts.