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The Cursed Gift of Technology

What a Free Streaming Concert of Miguel's 'Wild Hearts' Inspired Me to Write...

Album Art For Miguel's Wild Hearts (2016)

I was sitting here tonight after my work shift watching a Miguel concert on my laptop. It was available via streaming by Yahoo Music (huge thank you to them, by the way). Right after his guitar performance, he stops to talk to his audience. Now, all concerts are usually interrupted by a musician’s generic message to “Follow your dreams;" ”Never give up;” You can do anything." Not that these aren’t all positive messages to put out into the world, but these types of speeches are diminutive and usually just a friendly reminder. Then there are some musicians who take this time to speak on something that mirrors the message or inspiration that led to their latest project. By doing this, their words seem more genuine because they’re an artist…speaking on what inspired their art. Emotions, or just a quick revelation, can fill a whole arena when an artist can connect with their audience—similar to J.Cole’s Forrest Hills Drive Tour that I attended a few weeks ago, where he spoke about love. It’s secretly the underlining message/tone of his album. He spoke about love being the inspiration for his album, how his fierce drive and even accomplishments caused him to lose sight of what was really important to him. You could tell that everyone in the arena, including myself, felt his words. Tonight, even through a computer screen, I felt Miguel’s words. Right before he jumped into his track, titled, “A Beautiful Exit” from his new album, Wild Hearts, he calls out all of his wild hearts (fans). He then talks about distractions…negative people, internal situations, but the biggest and most evident distraction may be “right in your hands right now,” he says. Cell phones, social media, television, advertising, propaganda—it’s all distraction.

This made me think of technology in its entirety; how it’s a huge blessing sometimes and such a huge burden in other instances. We all recognize the positives of technology such as ultrasound imagining, infection detecting devices, eco-friendly devices, and even the ability to instantly record an injustice act and instantly upload it to help bring awareness. However, we’ve allowed something so great to disable us almost. Electronic devices being the one that effects my generation the most. I’ve had plenty of conversations that have led to many laughs about how our generation can be out at a function staring at their phones and boasting about how much fun they are having instead of, you know…actually “having” fun. I get that it’s cool and exciting to be able to instantly post a picture or snap a quick video to share but why do so many feel the need to document every minute. Perhaps, it’s social perception. We form opinions of others based off of what they post or what they say on social media. I don’t believe all people are judging maliciously; however, what we see does seep into our thoughts. Subsequently, even if we aren’t aware of it right away, the perception of others becomes a real concern to us. Everyone has some sort of self-perception, whether it’s fueled by high self-esteem or low self-esteem. It’s so easy in today’s time to wonder: What do people really think of me?…I’m cool, I wanna show everyone I’m cool…I’m cute, I wanna show everyone I’m cute. And by just one click of a button, we can share anything, anywhere, to anyone…to everyone, if we choose to. For what? To be judged? To get some sort of verification or gratification? I don’t think this impact of social media has been good for this generation.

We have to go back to not caring what people who don’t fully know us think. We have to go back to having wild hearts and living and learning from our experiences. Miguel says in his concert, “be mindful of your thoughts because they are what’s going to guide your experience.” This quote is pretty powerful when you think of the times you talked yourself out of doing something because of fear and doubt. Sometimes our fear comes from the root of judgement. We’re concerned about how we are going to be perceived, or scared to let someone down or prove someone wrong or right. We stay within the box because it’s an anomaly to work outside of the box and discover something new. Hell no! We’re not being true to ourselves if we think this way. New devices, new technology isn’t discovered without the people that stepped out the boxes. “Don’t ever conform”…this is the last quote that stuck out to me from the concert. Hell yeah! I was thinking, there’s no one like me, there’s no one like you, so why are we trying to follow someone’s exact blueprint to reach their success? It’s not going to work for us like it did for them. Our experiences are going to lead to our own knowledge, our own ideas, our own success. But the solution to this is almost certain to be self-love, self-perception, self-confidence. So perhaps technology isn’t the problem…it’s us. We’ve turned what should be a gift into such a curse. What ideas do you have? What experiences can you share? Because I’m pretty certain you can use it to create something that has never been created before…but you can’t be in fear, you have to be a wild heart.

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