POS: Prisoners of screens

After watching the words on my screen get jumbled around like a Hunter S. Thompson induced  Friday night, I typed into my search browser, “eyes can’t focus.”

What were the results? Well, the top hit was computer vision syndrome. Seems promising, I’ll click.

Oh of course, it’s an eye problem caused from prolonged digital screen use.

I ask myself, “Is it possible to escape prolonged digital screen use anywhere in a first-world?” I wake up to a cell phone screen alarm. I look over at the digital alarm clock to check the real time. I hit snooze. I see the screen and notifications at the top. I move slowly to the bathroom where my girlfriend is on her phone checking Facebook. I move to the kitchen, but not after passing the television, tablets on the coffee table and microwave digital display. I turn on my wifi, the notifications roll in some more. I turn on the sync button, here come some more. I shower to music played on my phone. I get outside of my house and at last, nature, or wait, maybe not, people staring down at screens attached to wires to their ears everywhere. The train has screens, the bus stops have screens. The screens have screens.

Our eyes are chained and bolted to screens. There is no escape.We are prisoners to them. They feed off our energy and we are consumed by their ability to push us closer and closer to one another, while still pushing us further apart. I see two girls on the train checking each other’s Facebook pages while next to one another. Why not just talk about your lives? Why not just share in your candid moments? Why not just be? Just live. Just embrace that the pulsating waves flowing through each one of us were there before they were interrupted so rudely by buzzes and ringing. I find myself growing sicker and sicker each and every day being surrounded by the cancerous technological beast we have created. Like a cancerous lung induced from years of smoking, we are sickening ourselves with the, at first, slow transition into using technology, and by the year 2015, and almost entire devotion to it’s life-force as our own. We are no longer ‘Fabio’ or ‘Jen’, we are @Phabio or facebook.com/jen. We have lost our personalities. We have lost our human identity. We have grown into a large boiling, filthy, stinking, disgusting heap of acronyms and abbreviations, false hopes and thank yous, public shaming and global idiocy.

And yet here I sit writing this all out on a screen. The irony. But where else do I write? I write in my notebook but I’m the only one that ever sees it, and like Van Gogh who never thought his work would go anywhere, I too feel my thoughts and feelings will go nowhere. The forever alone and missing piece to life’s extraordinary test.

I get the news that a best friend’s mother is dying. I order my flowers online. I scroll through the images on the screen of pixelated representations of flowers that will come to life in a click and be delivered to a woman on her death bed. Perhaps some of the last living/dying things she will ever see before she closes her eyes for good.


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