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  • Writer's pictureCynical Candor

iPhone Number 9

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Maintain a social media presence, but don’t over share. Be fake, essentially. Just be patient, keep working. Form over content, but let content be original. Type, observe, prevent, prevail. But God, you keep working. Be authentic; don’t try too hard. Punchcards make way for apps, credit cards for waving phones, rewards for screen time. It’s all a ruse.

Subtweets and sarcasm all blur into “jokes;” we want someone to hold our hand. Instead we hold our devices. Apple vs. android, competing for likes and follows. Who the hell is that? But they have a huge number, so follow back, they may be of service somehow, and look at that aesthetic! Perfectly imperfect.

I hate the way you look at me, after new years, after post-hookup messages. I didn’t do anything wrong. (Or did I?) I’m not sure what to do, so I say nothing. I look to others, coupled, and quietly avoid eye contact. You still invite me to your events I won’t attend. I still can’t get over messages unsent, unexplained, but enough for me to forget you quit me first.

I am not nice. I do things to get my way, to live a “better” life. I am selfish; I call this self-care, self preservation. We all do. We ghost, block, ignore, pretend, hide digitally. Then we creep, sneak, peer unseen, virtually. Vicious cycles stuck on repeat, like a sticky fast-forward button, like a spinning wheel on an app that won’t unstick, like a status bar stuck on a page that won’t load. We’re all trying to influence while we’re brainwashed.

I hate this fucking thing, the fucking compulsion to pick it up on every commercial break, every moment of downtime that I should be listening to birds or wind. The last thing I see before I let my lids droop for sleep, the first thing I shuffle for between sheets when I wake. “I work on my phone,” is my excuse, but don’t we all? Aren’t we all working on ourselves on our phones all day, for confidence, entertainment, interaction, anything? Who’d have ever thought. Just a box made of metal and plastic and glass ruling our lives. Really, who’d have thought? I mean someone obviously had to have, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, but could they ever imagine this? Would they regret it?

VSCO girls and zoomers have no clue what it all used to be when blessings came in the form of a privet phone line in your bedroom, a luxury I’m glad I never was cursed with. Maybe it’d have better prepared me for these moments, though nothing could have, doubtfully. This excess, access, constant inundation and requirement to be consumed. It’s unavoidable, or maybe it isn’t, but who would want to give it up to find out?

I put it all out there. I like it that way. Some prefer privacy but I prefer the risk of losing. I prefer to know I’ve nothing to hide. I want to be understood, as I’ve always craved, so I can find true connection again. I’m so craving connection. And I pick up my phone to find it, ignored, or worse, disappointed. I cannot be the only one, but what else are you going to do? It’s all anyone can do these days. And it’s not all bad, but by God, it can’t be all that good. Just a thought.

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