You snooze the alarm three times before you manage to wake up. The blinds are drawn, so your room is pitch black and the only source of light is your phone. You cling to it with a strange familiarity. Unlock it with one swift movement. Instinctively your fingers click on social media apps. The first things you see are a variety of pictures. A group of friends went out last night, each one posting variations of the same picture. (Scroll.) Someone dyed their hair. (Scroll.) Someone is on vacation in a huge apartment with a pool. It looks warmer there than where you are… prettier. (Scroll.) Someone got a new dog. A golden retriever puppy racing around a garden with luscious green grass manages to catch your attention for a bit more than a second. (Scroll.) An influencer is unpacking the new clothing sent to them from a popular brand. (Scroll.) A group of people pose in newly bought matching outfits. (Scroll.) A bunch of people share pictures of their healthy breakfasts. (Scroll.) Others share workout videos. (Scroll.) Advertisements. (Scroll.) You’ve witnessed the lives of hundreds of people before getting out of bed. You’ve watched them participate in life. You’ve watched them present a version of themselves, saw how they wanted you to perceive them. Took all this in without leaving your bed. Alone. You get up. Make yourself some cereal for breakfast settle back down in bed, and watch a replay of last nights comedy show. You see thousands of colors flickering on the screen. You see personas laughing and crying. Living. You follow them through their lives, without leaving your room.
When you leave your house and sit in the tram you find yourself automatically reaching for your phone. Reloading pages for more and more and more and more and more and more and more content. Alone. You reply to texts. You have talked to dozens of people without saying a word. You get off the tram. You find yourself thinking about some shoes you saw online. Shoes you need to have.
Your mind drifts away from the reality around you, into your own little world of hopes and dreams. One where you, just as well as everyone else, or perhaps even better than anyone else, portray the beauty of your life in series of perfected images. One where you sit on your couch alone at night and watch the ‘likes’ flood in. One where you see how loved you are, one where everyone sees how loved you are.The thought alone makes the adrenaline rush through your body.
For a split second doubtful thoughts arise, quietly, as if tiptoeing. What do you do when the world isn’t watching? What do you stand up for when the world isn’t watching? Who are you when you aren’t the target of targeted ads? Who are you without your ‘followers’ and ‘likes’?
Then the ‘likes’ rush in and you happily go back to staring at your screen, a disconnected smile taking over your face. Alone.
Author: Helen Waeder
Copy Right belongs to: Helen Waeder
Date published: 9/12/2020