Most of the time, I want to throw my phone against a wall and laugh as I watch it shatter into a million different pieces; like a cry-laugh, though, terrified and joyful all at the same time.
I want to delete all of my social media profiles and all the other apps that overstimulate my brain and leave my mind seizing with questions; that leave my ego left in this strange combination of arrogance and self-doubt.
These outlets make me feel like I’m on some sort of drug. I want to stop taking it when the withdrawal consumes me, when the longing fills my lungs and the aching for real human connection is almost too much to bear.
But, I just can’t get enough.
I am addicted to this drug.
I don’t want to feel jealous. I don’t want to feel like a spineless jellyfish, wishing I were those people; or being grateful that I am not.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my phone to see the time. There on the screen sits a blurry list of notifications and emails to check.
I feel obligated to look, but my heart is screaming at me to just throw that phone against the wall; to pack my bag with only the things a person really could need to live off the land.
I want to vanish like a nomad, running into the trees until all I can see is green around me.
I don’t know if I would be very good at being a nomad. But, the idea is enticing.
Would the sound of the crickets chirping bring me peace? Would I finally get to see a brown bear?
But, then I worry, “What if the crickets don’t chirp?”
“What if the brown bears don’t come?”
“What if I trip down the mountain and there is nobody there to catch me?”
I think what the real problem is, is that I’m just much too good at being good at the thing I hate; uploading all the pictures, sending all the messages.
Sometimes, it’s the only way I know how to keep myself afloat.
So, I float along in cyberspace, with all the emojis and photo filters, the endless streaming of new information that I’m somehow supposed to absorb.
I hate it all so much sometimes, but I can’t stay away.
Maybe I hate it so much because I love it.
I’ve heard it’s not so easy to walk away from a thing that you love so much.
I’m not sure I know what that feels like yet, being the one who usually does the walking. But, I’m sure it’s not too easy.
When there are no fingers interlaced between mine, technology sits next to me and tells me that I’m not alone.
It stays there for me when I can’t find a job, when I face rejection after rejection, when that big red stop sign keeps slamming into my forehead.
And all these confusing thoughts keeping bubbling up in my mind, like,
“What am I doing wrong?”
“How can I make this work?”
“I can’t be that bad.”
But then, I get a notification, “11 people have liked your photo.”
Then, I feel a little better.
My relationship with technology is a toxic one.
But, I peer over the edge, sitting on the rim of that bucket of toxic waste and I see my friends; Reassurance, Self-absorption, Comfort, and I realize that I’m not quite ready to say goodbye.
‘Courtney and Savannah just left for a backpacking trip in Europe.’
‘Dan and Sarah just broke up.’
‘Steve just got a new motorcycle.’
“UGH, LAUREN, WHO GIVES A SHIT,” I think.
“I’m going to go pour myself another glass of wine,” I think next.
And then, I’m going to grow the fuck up and put up a picture on Facebook, hoping that in the next four hours somebody likes it so that I can go to bed knowing that somebody, for just a second, thought I was worthy enough to like my photo.