If a plant is not growing, it is a sign of sickness. If a human is not growing it is a sign of malnutrition. If you are not growing mentally, that that is a sign of mental sickness. I have seen with plants in my garden that though sometimes it is a sign of sickness, oftentimes, it is a fault with their conditions. They need a little bit more water, thinning/weeding, maybe some fertilizer. This is kind of like the parable of the sower and seeds. The great thing is that humans are not plants. While a plant can realize that it is in the middle of a drought and go into defensive mode, it still can't do anything about it. Instead of shriveling up, we can turn on the faucet and get a nice drink of water, we can move to a sunnier windowsill.
In the Veggietales spoof Lord of the Beans, where the Smeagol spoof character wanted a life of ease. For him, that consisted of mail order devices: crock-pots, pressure cookers, and air fryers. Until one day he found a magic bean that could give him anything he wished for.
"But everything I bought I had to pay for. This was a limiter to my life of ease."
"Then I found it ... the bean"
"You want a fountan of Grape Nehi to shoot right out of the ground? No problem. A life of ease, right in the palm of my hand."
"One day before 10 am I had created and consumed a 200 pound marshmallow peep. Unfortunately I fell into a sugar coma"
What is the difference between the magic bean and a smartphone? Life is easy nowadays. Everything you could ever want can be found on the internet.
For those not well versed in childrens christian programming, consider the song Welcome to the Internet by Bo Burnham.
Could I interest you in everything all of the time?
A little bit of everything all of the time?
Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime.
Anything and everything all of the time.
Hopefully this is a better example for anyone who hasn't seen Veggietales. Bo Burnham and Veggietales hit the nail on the head. The Internet provides no incentive for growth.
I came to the realization a while back that if I want to do well in university that I need to basically quit the internet.
This past year of university I found myself wasting a lot of valuable time. Online classes are not my style of learning. Zoom calls for classes tend to drone on and it's super easy to get distracted.
I found that for me, most of the internet does not spark joy.
A couple months ago, I was bored at a milltary health test checkup. I had nothing to do after the checkup, and had a lot of waiting to do before I could be picked up. So I started writing a short story on my phone. The story was about a party hard, downtown finance bro. He discovers the calm that comes from slowing down from a plant. This is kind of just the plot of Cars 1. The creative juices only started flowing after a while of boredom from waiting to get called in and then waiting to be picked up.
I had some really neat ideas flowing but never felt the urge to scribble more down. Probably because the internet has ruined attention spans, and in all likleihood I probably haven't felt bored since.
I have a pepper plant in a supermillenial hydroponic thing. When I haven't added nutrient juice in a while, the leaves get all wrinkly and sad looking. Now, a few days after adding nutrient, the leaves are all nice and flowers are coming.
Some days I feel like the wilted up plant. The good thing is that, as a human, I can make changes myself.
So here's the fertiliser I'm giving myself:
Applying digital minimalisim-type practices to my cellphone.
Blocking my common distraction websites. (reddit, youtube, etc.)
Starting this website to allow myself to be rid of social meida.
Starting with a clear goal before opening a device of what I plan to accomplish.
Meditation, yeah I know it's kind of silly, but I've never done it before and it's apparently good for you.
Excercising 3-4 times per week, as I need to get in shape both for myself and since the military is demanding it of me.
Social contact. Since the pandemic, everyone is afraid to live their lives. The well-documented, recent increase in youth depression, anxiety and suicide rate shows how important human interaction really is.
I was thinking that maybe I call one new friend every saturday to say hi.
Grow a garden that is actually cool. (no worrying about being perfect)
Insert inspirational message about how you (the person reading this) is also not a plant and can change things once you realize you need to.