The battle between man and device has begun and it is not looking pretty.
For some reason we are living in a world where social media rules all. A world where an instagram post means more than pillow talk. Where we are judged by not by our character but by the number of Facebook likes we have on a kissy faced picture with a guy we knew and were in love with for a millisecond in time. This is a world where emojis mean more than smiles and comments rule over a friendly hello from a stranger.
I say to hell with it all.
The virtual apocalypse is upon us and we are walking around blind as bats. Naive as schoolgirls to the fact that real social interaction has been completely devalued.
We are so worried about how others perceive us on a public platform that we neglect nurturing the one on one relationships that deserve and need our love and guidance.
I am sitting at the dinner table with my boyfriend. We are not at home in our sweats eating cheap take out that is going to render us in the bathroom for countless hours later. We are at a restaurant. A place where people go to have a dining experience. A venue where human beings have gathered for generations to be together, to converse, to spend quality time while partaking in quality food. I sit across the table from him in a puzzled silence as I watch his fingers bounce like pop rocks in a cup of soda off of his iPhone.
“What are you doing” I ask.
“Hey!!!” I inquire again with a tinge of teenage angst.
“Sorry… Instagram” as he resistantly puts the iPhone in his pocket.
How can you ask me to share in a human experience, then not experience the humanity?
It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
The hypocrisy of it all is baffling.
When did we come to a point as a global unit that virtual communication and connection is more important than physical face time and and being undoubtedly present. Where did we make the wrong turn onto the road of quality time consisting of virtual communication with people who are not physically present and hold no bearing in our day to day lives?
I look at my boyfriend, whom is obviously struggling to not reach in his pocket and 21 gun salute the thousand notifications that are coming in at that very instant on his mobile leash. The struggle is real and I am feeling like a habitual afterthought. Mild irritation pulses through my veins as irrational thought fills the measuring cup of my mind.
Am I boring? Is this what relationships turn into after time? Is he really on instagram? Or Facebook? Or Twitter? Why did he ask me to have dinner with him if he was just going to be on his phone the whole time? Is there somebody else?
I hope you can see where I am going with all of this.
I get up and go to the restroom.
I need to snap out of my delusion. As I stare at myself in the finger smudged mirror all seems to go silent. There I am, a living creature across the table from another breathing being. Just me and him. Just him and me, yet I still feel disconnected. Here is a person that I know better than anyone else, the person that I share my life with, but he has a completely alternate life on the internet. A different set of virtual friends and a technologically enhanced persona. In all reality I am sleeping next to someone I don’t truly know. Or is it that all of these avatars that take up 50% of his day don’t truly know him?
The confusion wreaks havoc on my mind and I can see why so many relationships fail because of what is perceived rather than what is real. The divide has grown so vast that as a collective we do not know how to truly connect anymore. But in this moment I feel like I have won the first siege. The multimedia radiation boxes have been put away and I feel validated in my need for human connection. I love him and he loves me. There is no mobile platform or device that can come between us. We are too strong we have too much love for each other.
I pull up my boot straps and head back to the table in a more positive headspace. Prepared to enjoy a loving human experience with the man I love. I scold myself for getting upset and letting my mind wander into such a dark untravelled space and a wave of relief comes over me as I walk back to our candlelit wine filled bliss.
I see him. The pale blue light of his iPhone illuminates the look of childish guilt on his face.
Let the battle continue.