The Rotation

I might be crazy. In order to waste time, all the time, I do several things, all of which exist only in the fantasyland of my iPhone. My malaise is quite brand loyal, as witnessed by my tangled white-cord bondage.

I check Facebook to make sure I still have friends and that they still annoy me. I check Mint to make sure I’m not broke. I check Twitter to assure myself that humans are still bitter and opinionated and wasting as much time as I am. I check BBC News to manufacture a false sense of worldliness and erudition. I check my United and Starwood apps to make sure I could escape, somewhere, anywhere, at a moment’s notice with no charge.

Mike and Carol Brady did the same thing, with books. We're good.
Mike and Carol Brady did the same thing, with books. We’re good.

Repeat, then repeat.

The order of these things is crucial. Also important is the occasional break in the loop, generally to play Words With Friends with friends with whom I have little other contact. These are the people I hold dearest in this terribly lonely world. I love my wife, and I would tell her that, but she’s at least two feet away and preoccupied with some video of some unfunny, uncute kid.

Last spring, I complained out loud on a high-speed train in Japan, when my global network connection was slow and my thumb wasn’t working and I had to hold my iPhone slightly differently than usual to type four letters directly onto a screen made of some magical substance. I put this whine on the Internet to teach myself a lesson about perspective. I thought about what people think about me. I wondered if I would be able to order a sandwich successfully in broken Japanese. I thought about the blog post I would write about this first-class problem, and I thought about what people would think of me when they read it. I decided they would decide that I’m the kind of detached snob who insecurely humble-brags his way through an undeserved and wonderful life. They might be right.

I now think about the vast intellectual curiosity of my youth and the bitter desire for peace of my middle age. The more I discover, the more I wish I knew. Thanks to technology, with enough pluck and time and effort, I could know anything. More often than not, I wish I lived in a small farmhouse in Southwest Ohio near Yellow Springs, a place where people still talk to each other and share ideas and food and laughs. A place I consider home.

My little farmhouse would, naturally have incredibly fast Internet access. I’m not crazy.

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