“To consort with the crowd is harmful; there is no person who does not make some vice attractive to us, or stamp it upon us, or taint us unconsciously therewith. Certainly, the greater the mob with which we mingle, the greater the danger.”
Since freeing myself from the chains of Facebook and Twitter, my life has become calmer and my thoughts more focused. While I continue to maintain accounts, I use them strictly for reposting my writing. I maintain no list of “friends” and have no desire to engage in the senseless voyeurism and self-indulgence that these channels promote, nor support the commercialism and self-harm that they drive, especially in children.
As a social animal, man craves the company and the admiration of others, but this is only the monkey mind seeking attention. Certainly, connection with the tribe is necessary for our physical and emotional well-being; however, letting the culture and the morals of the tribe dictate my thoughts and actions is equally detrimental, as these are ever-changing in response to the dictates of those who use these channels to enrich themselves and enhance their own power and control over others.
As with all things, I am subject to the environments that I live in, be they physical, social, or cultural. Being a stoic means striving to live a life of virtue, and equally important, adopting a rational view of the world and using that to make decisions in support of my stoic principles. Just as a fish cannot reject the water that they swim in, so too I cannot isolate myself totally from my environment. However, the wise fish is the one who recognizes that the water has become polluted and swims to cleaner waters, not the one who attempts to fling themselves out of the water to die on the land nor one who denies that the water is polluted until too late.