I felt like a true Seattleite today. For the first time in two years, I felt like I lived here. Nothing about my day was specific to the Seattle experience, so maybe I just felt like an Earthling. I did my laundry in the laundry room of my 100-year-old apartment building. I rode the bus to meet a prospective dog-sitting client and ran into a friend traveling in the same direction. I was drooled on by a Great Dane. I returned a library book. I sat in a park next to a man-made waterfall and had an impromptu reading session because it felt like the right thing to do, but after a few short moments, I found myself lying on the concrete and staring at the tops of the skyscrapers while seagulls flew in circles against the clear blue sky.
For a few moments, I felt like I belonged here in Seattle. In this world.
I went home and the sun fell behind the earth. My husband came home and we spent the evening together, watching Twin Peaks, eating dinner, and discussing our day. Eventually, he went to bed, but I remained awake to get the work done that I hadn’t done all day: writing and planning for my film. My most important work.
I sat at my desk and stared at my computer screen. I refreshed Facebook and Twitter, and started feeling left out of all of the “Best Friends Day” posts. Why does that even matter? I have never even spoken to some of these people. I cursed social media for giving me a syndrome of feeling left out. I cursed the Internet for telling me I needed to keep updating so people wouldn’t forget about me. I cursed it for instructing me to update my blog so people would have a reason to visit my website.
I cursed it for giving me more work to do for self-promotion and sucking me in and making that be the work I do. Not my writing. Not my film project planning. Not what truly matters- the product that gives me my audience.
I stood up with such force that my chair rolled to the opposite wall. I marched over to the router, unplugged it, and let it soar out the window. It landed with a satisfying crash from the eighth floor and I put my chair back in place. I sat down and opened my screenplay.
Charlie has posted another horse video that you’ve seen a hundred times to your Facebook profile.
I glared at the Wi-Fi settings on my laptop.
God-damned wi-fi hot spots all over this God-damned city!
With a quick click, I turned off the Wi-Fi. I cracked my knuckles like any genius writer does before composing a masterpiece. I typed three words. 15. 20. 65. I was on a roll. Oh, what a glorious distraction-free world I lived in without the Internet!
What was that? I looked around the room. Deciding that it was a sound from outside, I went back to my document.
I tensed. The motherfucking mobile apps. Of course, Facebook has six for each service they offer and each one with a different sound. People were trying to contact me in private messages, comments, and groups.
I picked up my phone and scrolled through the messages. I giggled a few times at statuses from people I admire, but then I came upon statuses that I saw earlier in the day. I cringed at the reminders that these people merely collected me on Facebook to show off how awesome their lives are and how I can’t get anything done because I keep getting distracted by how awesome their lives are.
Tears slid down my cheeks. I put my phone down and called it a night. I told myself that I would try again tomorrow, but maybe if I was lucky, I would die in my sleep.