Click here to watch the music video for my song, “The System”. The message of this song is more soul, less scroll…be ever curious of the world outside our screens and pursue connection to it with vigor.

In our hyper speed, social media world, where the algorithm feeds us what to consume and who to compare ourselves to, pitting left against right, rich against poor, neighbor against neighbor, ethnicities, gender, sexuality and religions against one another, while rewarding extremism over nuance, hate over kindness, and dollars over feelings, it’s easy to become frustrated, angry, depressed, paralyzed or worse.

The term “The System” means something different to everyone. Governments, schools, religious hierarchy, corporate greed, media, war, racism, etc. All of us live our lives within some organized system of perceived authority, that tries to create outcomes by shaping the way we think, feel and behave, often for profit, political gain, or apparently, just to be a pain in our collective asses.

Today our dopamine inducing screens often leave us feeling damaged, saddened, sleepless and hopeless about the world and our ability to shape it for good or survive in it at all. Machines that were designed “to bring us closer together” end up dividing us from each other and ourselves from our souls.

In 1993, I put out a song called “Television The Drug Of The Nation,” examining the harmful effects of TV in that era (I sampled some of it in “The System” video). Never in my life did I imagine living in a world where the vast majority of us literally carry around a TV in our hands or on our wrists 24/7. One that is calculating everything we do, like or dislike, every waking moment, and even calculating the hours we sleep and perhaps what we dream (cue conspiracy theorists). It then skillfully feeds back more of what we want and sells that data to the highest bidder, in order to get us to consume and purchase more.

There’s an obvious irony that isn’t lost on me, in making a video about watching less video. I would respond by sharing that this song is a message to myself as much as it is to the world. I’ve personally felt the harmful effects of screen addiction on my mental health, my family and close friends, and I’ve experienced the positive effects of using my screen less. Removing apps that suck me in and reinstalling them only when I need to use them, powering my phone off until I need it, has unlocked spending more time in nature, walking, having face to face conversations, family time and shared meals. All greatly contributing to my mental health, creativity and the quality and clarity of my life.

I believe that there is a very important conversation taking place online about the direction of the world and our personal wellbeing. Conversation that deserves to be amplified. I also believe in the power and importance of storytelling, music, movie making for enjoyment, to move us to tears, inspire us and make us laugh (I love a hilarious cat video, skateboard wipe out compilation or binge series). To all of that I say this…be ever curious of the world outside our screens and pursue connection to it with vigor.

I believe there is no one you wouldn’t love if you knew their story, and there is no greater gift than taking the time to sit with someone and deeply listen to their life’s journey and share yours with them. It heals us.

To put it succinctly, the message of “The System” is this: MORE SOUL, LESS SCROLL. 

Click here to watch the music video for “The System” and stream the song off Big Big Love album here.