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You Hate Your Cell Phone

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 5/11/2015 Max Cantor
JEANS PHONE © Neil Overy via Getty Images JEANS PHONE

You hate your cell phone. You hate the social media, sure, but so does everybody. That's the part that gets all the glory, and comes up in conversation with words like "dependent" and "overstimulation." You hate the actual thing. The physical, plastic, glass thing. You hate its stupid face. Its big stupid iPhone face. You hate its supernatural glow. How it never dies. How even when it dies, it doesn't die - another jolt and it pops right back to glow, a recurring, unholy resurrection, burning but never dying, like nothing in nature.
You hate the way it vibrates. It sits in your pocket, drumming up against you like a friend you don't know how to break up with. Bobbing up and down. An abscess. Churning against you. Everywhere you go. An email or a text or an Instagram feed that demands every bit of your attention. It demands it like it is its birthright. And who are you to deny such a machine. So you surrender your attention at every possible pause. You give it your two spare minutes in the bathroom line. And your last few minutes before bed. Your first two minutes in the morning. The damn thing wakes you up for Christ's sake. It tells you to begin the day.
You don't know other phones. So you don't hate other phones. You hate your actual phone. Your specific phone, the one you look at every day, that one that's always around. That's the one you hate. That damn object. You can picture it now - its rippled black case, chipping away at the edges. You imagine it chipping away altogether. Dropping it and watching it smash into a trillion tiny alien parts.
That's how you win your pocket back. Your freedom. That's how you keep your thoughts inside your skull, instead of having them pulled off like spaghetti strings into internet land. No more texts. No more Matrix injections of messages to the brain, mainlining someone else's whims.
Only your thoughts. The way it was when you got your first cell phone. A brick, like all first cell phones. A Nokia, probably. A beautiful, plastic bar that looked like it belonged inside a chocolate wrapper. The screen was a faded digital gray. The buttons popped in and out like a typewriter, while you toggled up and down between all nine of your favorite phone numbers, or maybe played Snake, watching a strand of pixels slither and bounce around the corners of your phone like an hourglass. Ticking away on your time. A beep here and there. A novelty ringtone like a doorbell. Just another appliance. Somewhere in another room.

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