Do you know what I miss? I miss the headspace I could afford without a screen constantly in front of my face. Sometimes i remember my early 20’s before always-on communications, when I could sit in my room for hours and write, read, build, craft, think, dream the big dreams. The world outside was just over the horizon, calling to me to consider it. I felt it in my soul. Made plans to go out to it (instead of having it barge in on me). I’d visualize it like radio waves reflecting off the ionosphere, like a dome of light from a nearby town at night. Thoughts as deep as clouds are high.
Now, shallow thoughts, distracted thoughts. In my opinion, less a factor of age and more a factor of scattered attention. There’s a red flag on my screen with a number inside. There’s a tab with “(2)” on it. There’s a notification on my phone. There’s always something to answer.
It’s getting awfully crowded in this headspace. Not enough room for this addiction to confirmation, for this empty stand-in for real connection and friendship. When I turn face from the screen to do something with my time, the world moves on and I feel lost in a game of Catch-Up when I finally come back to the screen. That desperate emptiness kills me. So what is the solution?