The Never-Ending Now

I once attended a comedy show with a group of friends. Since the venue was across town, we split an SUV. I sat in the back. You know… all the way in the rear, where the seats get so narrow that you have to do gymnastics just to get back there.

From the moment the driver hit the gas pedal, everybody was on their phones. From the back row, I watched my friends scroll their social media feeds with ferocious intensity. One thing stuck out: the people in front of me only consumed content created within the last 24 hours.

No exceptions.

I succumb to the same impulse. Chances are, so do you. 

The structure of our social media feeds place us in a Never-Ending Now. Like hamsters running on a wheel, we live in an endless cycle of ephemeral content consumption — a merry-go-round that spins faster and faster but barely goes anywhere. Stuck in the fury of the present, we’re swept up in dizzying chaos like leaves in a gale-force wind. Even though on the Internet, we’re just a click away from the greatest authors of all time, from Plato to Tolstoy, we default to novelty instead of timelessness.  

We’re trapped in a Never-Ending Now — blind to our place in history, engulfed in the present moment, overwhelmed by the slightest breeze of chaos.

Here’s the bottom line: How can you prioritize the accumulated wisdom of humanity over the impulses of the past 24 hours?