Thousand Megabyte Stare


if (hours_online >= hours_off) {
echo thoughts;

I’ve watched my generation watch my generation in videos, posts, comments, bits and bytes. Records have emerged of us having fun at parties, making babies laugh, falling down comically, trying new recipes, celebrating birthdays across the years. We have consumed and internalized and molded these records into ourselves like putty. We have strung these database entries between us with our physical selves as cans on either side. We “communicate.”

I’ve watched my generation open up to the public and turn in on itself. I’ve struggled desperately to get their attention. Prodding them with murmurs of their names, later shouts, proves futile. A hand wagged in front of the face is often needed to wake us up, to grab our attention. The diffuse light formerly seen only behind closed eyes now shines before us, nearly constantly.

I’ve issued concerns. Accounts have been deleted, data plans cancelled. Brash lines of questioning have been directed. I’ve offered alternatives: Parks can be strolled through. Bands can be formed, instruments rocked out on. Eye contact can be made. There are reports of eye contact being made.

while (items_to_attend_to == 0) {

I’ve been vilified, vehemently and not infrequently. Logic has been questioned, hypocrisies pointed out. I’ve watched my generation not really see what the big deal is. Societal sickness has evolved, become quieter, subtler. We cannot make outright demands, as to whom would we make them? And what would we demand? Besides, most of us don’t really see what the big deal is anyway.

I’ve seen the people we can believe in die off, of old age or sickness or their own despairing volition. Articulate summations of why the bright light entrances us have yet to surface. Attempts have been made. Jaron Lanier, Zadie Smith. Are we gadgets? As long as there is blood coursing through our veins I refuse to believe it.

I’ve watched my generation stream entire seasons of television shows, sporting events, movies. Write a Tweet, edit a Tweet. Post a Tweet. New follower. Check Facebook. Send a chat message. Refresh the page. Refresh the page. Read a Wikipedia article. Refresh the page. Check tomorrow’s weather. Open a new tab. Start writing a polemic railing against the entrancing nature of modern computational and Internet technologies and how they distract us from the “real world” without ever defining what the “real world” is, save for a few trite examples about a park or a guitar or something. Close the tab. Shut the clam-shell computer. Stare fecklessly through your fourth floor window as the sun sets on what seemed like a shockingly short day, but you forget whether or not the days are getting longer or shorter, and you wonder if maybe running outside to catch the last glimpses of daylight would give you some Vitamin D which you heard is so important, but then it’s dark out and your roommate is watching a movie on Netflix so you walk into the kitchen and steal one of his Vitamin D pills and think that maybe you’ll wake up early tomorrow to go outside and watch the sun rise, and after that you’ll have the whole day ahead of you; who knows what could happen?

def yourself(activities, opinions, creations) {

#TODO: ???

return x;

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image – Katelyn Faye