As I type these words every person I have ever met sits on my counter, a dumping ground of thoughts sits alongside them, and the entire world lies heavy in my lap. We are a new kind, my generation that is. We are plugged into eternal limbo. We are the first to live in many dimensions at once. We are an elusive sort. Chasing us can be challenging, for our greatest presence is not in the physical world that you know. Find us by looking through the lens of the screen rather than the pupils of your human eyes. We have abandoned the flesh to mold ourselves into pixels, each one painstakingly planned. We ignore that which we’ve lost in translation.
Alive, yes we are alive, pulsing with the energy of a brightened backlight, a buzzing hard drive, impulses like an electric shock. Search engines have become microcosms of our scattered minds. Stimulation is constant, fingers drag along a cold glass screen, eyes gorge themselves on endless information. Images come in surplus in this generation. One word can multiply into millions. One phrase can incite a revolution instantaneously.
We have no private life in this generation. We are everywhere and nowhere. We have eyes embedded in our hands, and the public has become a part of our constant reality. Broadcasting space used to be for getting vital information out. What happens when you give infinite broadcasting space, when you open a new dimension with a capacity to hold ideas, musings, etc. to any person on earth? What happens when humanity creates what is essentially a new world, decorated with endless museums, podiums, stages, available for anyone who deems themselves worthy to display themselves and wait for applause? We've leveled the plane between the commoner and the famous. We’ve shrunk the earth so we can hold it in the palm of our hands.
Sitting on a thrown of “likes”, we fall in love with altered,crafted versions of ourselves. We embody the modern Narcissus. When you sit down with one of us, try to break through our hypnotized eyes we might not be really there.
They always say, write about what you know. What I know is that in this way of life our social skills are dissolving into screens. I have often imagined a world where one does not ever need to leave their own home because the internet has everything: friends, relationships, entertainment, echoes of the life we are not living.
What I know is that my generation is on the brink of something terrible and something wonderful— A surface level interconnectedness that humanity has never seen before but also a psychological isolation that becomes even more prevalent with every app, every device that consumes our attention. I fear that one day many of us will have our lives flash before our eyes only to see brand names, advertisements, and pixels rather the transient, breathing, fleshy world that we could've been experiencing.
I spend three hours a day cut off from the world, alone, underwater (aka college swimming)... This time is spent entertaining ideas~ about mind/body connection, my generation, what the inside of my brain looks like (metaphorically of course). I am a psych and philosophy major and enjoy Surrealist art, studying Chinese, Kurt Vonnegut, coffee shops, and getting lost in thought mazes.
Feel free to send book/Manhattan coffee shop recommendations/interesting thoughts on life my way!
Shoutout to Maddie, a beautiful human with an even more beautiful soul who showed me The Listserve!
New York, NY/ Buffalo, NY