Paying for the “second debt”

I stumbled on this brilliant post:

Everything Must Be Paid for Twice

This scarcity feeling creates one of the major side-effects of our insurmountable second-price debt: we reflexively overindulge in entertainment and other low-second-price pleasures –- phone apps, streaming services, and processed food — even though their rewards are often only marginally better than doing nothing. This stuff is attractive because it takes little effort (and we’re tired from working to pay for so many first prices) but it can eat up a ton of time, depleting the second-price budget even further.

The marginal utility never seems to extinguish with social media, because it is a low-effort engagement. Why blog when you can tweet? Sadly, it erodes the process of thinking and reflecting. Isn’t it easy to just “re-tweet” or follow Instagram reels (or worse- TikTok) with all the promises of the “creator economy” and “sponsorships”?

I have sometimes called into question the very idea of blogging itself- why blog if no one reads? It is because it cements specific ideas and thought processes and gives an expansive view of order within the chaos. This writing here is unfiltered and bereft of the “higher order” writing I do elsewhere. Yet, the seeds are implanted here. Right here. Almost everyday that I write. It is a wonderful exhilarating feeling. The author echoes a similar feeling:

Paying a second price, unpleasant as it sounds, is a process you can acquire a taste for, and when you do, it’s exhilarating. It’s like picking your way through unmapped wilderness – the going is slow and there’s lots to trip over, but it’s new territory the whole way, and after the initial discomfort you feel very alive. Then when you come out the other side, this new territory has become part of your usual range, and you’re tougher and more interesting.

I hope more users take up blogging, and it’s incredibly easy. You just have to get off Twitter.

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