My God, I am so glad that I did not grow up in the age of the phone
I used to wake up and not check my phone. I would actually roll over and try to grab a few more Zs. I would listen to the morning birds sing and chatter outside the window, my head full of half-finished dreams.
I used to go for walks and not check my phone. I would actually look at the birds and trees and flowers without thinking about Instagramming them. I would move through the world like any other animal. None of us animals were cybernetically attached to a device.
I used to cook meals without taking pictures of any part of the entire process. I would eat the food that I prepared by myself, or with friends, and it was good. And that was what we would have called, back then, “an experience”. Nobody else in the world knew about that particular experience. It was nobodies business.
I used to not worry about what the president of the United States tweeted that day. There was no such thing as a Tweet back then. People just wrote articles and books. People had to do a lot of work to get those book and articles published. Not so today.
I used to savor a good book. I would actually just sit there on my couch and read page after page of a novel without checking my email every few minutes. When I was older I would enjoy a game of Bocce ball on the lawn and a couple of cold beers on a warm summer afternoon, after reading an entire novel. And I never once looked at my phone. I didn’t have one.
I was a late bloomer. I carried a flip phone far past its expiration date.
I used to care about what my friends, family, and community thought of me. It never crossed my mind that somebody in Russia might hate me for something that I wrote on a blog. Now I am supposed to care about what the whole world thinks of me, but I don’t really.
I used to enjoy watching movies without compulsively googling stuff. There was literally a period in history when people could enjoy going to a movie and then go to a restaurant or coffeeshop (a coffeeshop is that place where now everyone is just staring at their devices) and talk about the movie with other people. We did have the internet, yes, and we could look up stuff about the movie if we wanted to. But later.
But later. Not right the fuck now.
I used to drive a car without any help from my phone. I was lost a lot. But then my map skills increased because I didn’t like being lost. Now I just rely on my phone to tell me where to go. I am lost without my implant.
I used to drive a car to some place for some reason without once touching or looking at my phone. I would think of things, and I would imagine things. And then, when I got to some place, I would be there. For years, I lived without looking at an Instagram account and wondering if it was real. Now I know that none of it is real, but I still look at it as if it were. It is not real, but it is real.
Now, we have these endless questions in our minds: Is this real? Who is real? What is real?
I used to read newspapers and magazines occasionally. It was relaxing, like sitting on the beach as the waves lapped at my toes. But now I check my Facebook feed as the moon rises on the horizon, and I don’t see it. And then I do see it and I Instagram it. I don’t forget the hashtags.
I used to go backpacking in the wilderness without the internet. I didn’t even have a cell phone for a while, but finally I got one for emergencies. Especially bears. If a bear was attacking me I would definitely want to call someone. Now, “emergencies” has turned into “all the time”. Now my phone is a cybernetic transplant attached directly to my soul, sucking out all the creativity and joy there for its own nourishment.
Back before I became a unified organism with my phone, I had a lot of problems. Now, if problems arise I can simply look at my phone and they will disappear.