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  • Writer's pictureGreg Salsburg

Stop Reading This!

“Tune in, turn on and drop out.”

When Timothy Leary famously penned the poetic LSD-laced iconic phrase in 1967, it immediately entered the lexicon of the underground counterculture. Leary’s sequence of personal developments was often misinterpreted to mean, “Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity.” However, this was not the intent at all; constructive activity was.

“Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them.

“Tune in” meant to interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives.

“Drop out” suggested an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. “Drop out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change.

Today, I would suggest we are so “Tuned in” and “Turned on” that it has created a societal detachment of pandemic proportions. Worse, the great majority are insensible to the heightened misfortune engulfing them. Take this blog for instance, why are you reading this dribble instead of doing something of substance? Seriously, that’s not self-deprecating, just self-awareness. I’m full of shit and so are most. More importantly, how have you come to access this and upon what device of your many are you reading it?

The hyper-excessive ubiquity of technological advancement has simultaneously allowed us to believe we are more tuned in by being turned on. Anything we want is one click away. We can communicate with whomever and wherever we wish by the stroke of a keyboard or swipe on the screen. Are we truly better for it? In many ways we are.

As Thomas Friedman suggested, “the world is flat” and thus the barrier of entry to “do” becomes self-reliant. Many positive advancements have been spurred from this new frontier and I am not suggesting we abandon them. I love and embrace technology. Our company, STiR-communications, has become a leading business consultancy firm leveraging do ubiquitous channels and technologies of communications to advance client’s bottom-line needs. So I am guilty of propagating the very tools I fret. I just fear somewhere along the road within this progressive stratagem we have forgotten something: humans and our relationship and requirement to stillness.

Covid-19 was a medical pandemic that was out of our control in many ways. However, what I am witnessing is an emotional, spiritual, and intellectual pandemic; the demise of interpersonal relationships and the ignoring of mindfulness. We must refocus and recalibrate before the impact becomes cataclysmic.

Group texting

Today’s LSD is “Little, Silly, Distractions” and runs rampant. Like Pavlov’s dog, we react to every bell and vibrate with immediate reaction. Texting “I love you” as opposed to deeply looking into someone’s eyes and expressing it first hand. “Checking in” or announcing your actions as opposed to, I don’t know, actually just being present. On that note, when was the last time you were still and intently looked at someone in the eyes for 10 minutes straight without the urge to check your email, text, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Tiktok, Facebook, etc.?

I like to don a mono-chromatic attire, been accused of being mono-syllabic (yep), and, of course, I’m a monogamist. But my overwhelming preference is to be mono-a-mono. A task that is nearing extinction by the exhaustive execution of multitasking. Which in truth is masked multi-distraction.

So, asking you to join a movement. For ONE DAY, shut it all down. No computers, smartphones, or tablets. No internet, no texting. I understand the withdrawal will be startling, and many, including myself, may not make it. Regardless, please share your experience. For the lucky few that interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives to people directly – please share your secrets.

I wish you all luck, and let’s Tune off, Turn off and Drop in!


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