Addiction is something that I have struggled with on and off for periods of my life. My addiction list includes food, drugs, alcohol and sex. Each of them have taught me lessons but those will come up in a later episode of the podcast. I think my history with addiction is the reason I noticed phone addiction. It became very apparent to me a few months back when I did not have power. I found myself craving the internet in the same way I had craved food and alcohol in the past.
I have been actively working with healing this part of me and it inspired a few things I have written. The first one called pelo azul was written in a Starbucks. I went to the coffee shop to charge my devices and while I was waiting I noticed that everyone was on a device. In a strange way I was watching myself from the outside and for the first time I actually saw my addiction. After that day I became conscious. I started paying attention to other people around me and how they handled their devices. I slowly started to notice this trend of looking down and that was when I wrote look down.
I am a millennial and although I started using the internet late, I have been on it everyday since. I am in no place to call this good or bad because I am benefiting from this addiction but that scares me. At what point can this be considered a bad thing and when do we actually cross the line?
Pelo Azul (Blue Hair)
Look at me the screen says and I oblige
Swiping my index finger up and down slowly
I stare intently at every corner and edge of your black body
I listen to your every word and respond respectfully
Tell me what I missed while I was asleep
Update me on all the people I will never meet
Screen screen in my palm who shall I compare myself to today?
Feed me images that will destroy my self esteem
Inject my senses with dopamine so that I can touch you a little while longer
I don’t understand why you keep doing this to me!
You know I hate it when you show me those things!
Unfollow… much better
Don’t make me feel bad I am only trying to find more ways you touch you my love
I can’t spend every waking moment with you if we always disagree
I want our connection to be special
Do you understand what I am trying to say?
I want to look back on this year and be proud that I spend my every waking hour feeling you
Now that you know me from my head to my toes
You even know the little quirks I am embarrassed about
I held up my end of the deal I give you all of me all day now its your turn to hold up your end
Bring me lunch, do my grocery shopping, find me a partner, pay my bills, play my music, make me pretty, be my mirror, capture my memories, share them with the world, be my map and my guide, protect me, guide me, represent me, be me.
You know I don’t like showing up and hence I bow my head and hide behind you
don’t fail me now
I can’t live without you
I am powerless without you
There seems to be a force greater than gravity
I know gravity is the reason my feet touch the floor (but)
This force only works on the head
It causes a slight pivot in the neck
Some might even say its magnetic
It’s even hard to call it a force because it is voluntary
Well it was, but not anymore
At this point it’s created new connections in your body
Fight or flight has been rewired
Digits, neck and head move in unison
Eyes dart back and forth
Full emotions are being experienced without motions
Whole nervous systems are being rewired
I sit there waiting
I am staring at my lap nervously
I can feel my heart beating and i’m a little bit anxious
I twiddle my thumbs
I bite my lip
I relax my shoulders
This is taking a long time…
I look up…
I forgot I was on the train
Where am I?
I thought I was at work…
Bzz Bzz Bzzzzzzzzz (vibration sound)
Immediately my head looks at my hands
There is no time to think I have already unlocked
The guy next to me is looking at his hands
Smiling, Laughing, Talking, Listening
But he is doing it all into a plastic box
His has a white case
It also has a finger grip
It’s also attached to a rope around his neck
I remember when looking down was rude
I remember when the eyes were the window to the soul
I remember having a clearer head
I remember the sound of my own thoughts
Now I am remembering the Instagram post I wanted to write about a blog post about a movie that I heard about white reading a tweet.
I got distracted by that random song Spotify put on and started checking my email
I forgot to brush my teeth!
How did I remember how to do all of that?
The other day I decided to look up
Nobody looked back because they were busy looking down
That man is on a bicycle
That man is driving
That teen is walking
That couple is holding hands
That kid is waking
That toddler is crawling
That family is sitting together in a park?
That toddler just used Snapchat?
That toddler is on Youtube?
My friend is looking down and talking to me
I ask about his day and he tells me to check his historia I mean story
He shows me his stories
Why did you share pictures of your life with the world?
Why did I see pictures instead of hearing a story from you?
Why did this happen in silence?
I know you can take pictures because I can too
I was just trying to ask about you
Your tweets are looking kind of sad
Your eyes are sunken
You look spent!
But your feed looks great!
I hate to say this but “I think you are addicted bro”
I don’t know how to help
All I can do is tell this story and hope you get the hint when you listen to my podcast
Here are a few videos by the people I mentioned in this episode. If you do not know which one to choose I suggest the first one. That is sufficient to send you down the rabbit hole.
We live in public – Documentary by Ondi Timoner about a man name Josh Harris. He was predicting what our lives would be like online at the beginning of the internet. So far his predictions have come true.
Josh Harris – In this video, he talks about the singularity and although it seems scary in the beginning, nothing about it seems strange.
Tristan Harris – If you are interested in the design of social media and how it is designed to be addictive, I think he is a good starting place.
Jaron Lanier – He is a fascinating guy who has interesting views about technology and what our future online could be
Feel free to leave a comment if you resonate with any part of this and let’s talk about it.
Thanks for reading and until next time,
Continue being awesome,