An Ode to a Digital Life

For this entry, I wanted to let my subconscious do a running commentary on how my phone and I interact in a typical day…

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I love the rush.  I love the panic.

It buzzes and I have a moment to resist, but know that I can’t.  The only solace I’d find would be in forgetting the buzz, but that never happens.  It forms a tick in the back of my brain and reminds me that there is something to see.  Something to check.  To read.

It buzzes again, dutifully, and it tells me in its ornery way, that it needs attention.  I used to have a Tamagotchi as a kid.  Now I have this.

But I do love it.  I love the access.  The unknown.  The information and the relevancy to me.  The satisfaction of checking and seeing something, or nothing, and figuratively ‘hitting that button’, just like in the plot of Lost.  Must… hit… button… every hour… or else… something, something.

Nothing would really happen.

People [read: my mom] tell me I’m changing.  They tell me to “put that away” and they remark on how it was never like this before.  That it’s changed me.  That it’s changing life.  And I agree, I really do!  I say I will try and put it away.  That I will be separated from it.  And I do.  And I find it liberating.  But I always go back no matter what.

Buzz.  I check it.  It’s a message from a social network.  If I’m near a computer I will go check it from that screen.  It’s bigger and faster.  I feel a satisfaction reading the message.  Someone has shared something of mine.  I feel relevant again.  I feel like I’ve earned something that I could almost put a dollar value on.   Klout would call it clout.  Analytics would call it Influence.  Egotists would call it a stroke.   I call it a satisfaction, a slam dunk, a home run.  Because we’re all swinging away and sometimes the bat makes contact.  But most of the time it doesn’t.  Until you get good, like A-Rod’s “90,589 followers” good.  Wait… he only has 90,000 followers?

Don’t worry, AROD, I could tweet for you.  It’s becoming a business.  A rogue tweet is as good as a sex tape.  Who could use some help with it?  How could I help them with it?

It’s been a while, I’d better check my other messages.  Gmail.  Gmail reaffirms what messages I’ve gotten elsewhere, but it’s still nice to see them.  I keep them and file them in different files.   Proof that this interaction really happened.   Proof that the ball met the bat and I had a homerun.

The evening is where it ramps up and it’s all my doing.  I do it alone!  It’s all me!  Texts, tweets, posts, shots (instagram, not tequila) although I might as well be getting drunk on social.  When I can put it down to pick up what I was reading (on paper… yes, actual paper!) I realize it’s going to bug me again in a matter of seconds.  I sigh, adjust my pillow, feel a cool fall breeze on my legs coming in from my bedroom window, and wait for it to happen.  I made it happen.   It’s all me.

And it happens.  I finally finish all my conversations with friends and strangers alike, satisfy my quenching hunger for news and gossip, and finally turn on the ‘wake me up’ for 7:29am so I can put on that app that lets me listen to people talking in the morning.

Another day of digital life is done and I can rest.   And I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow, because you never know what a new day will bring.

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