Initially it was a night like any other: It was about a year and a half ago, and I elected to stay home because I wanted to tinker with some song ideas instead of go out and be social. So a bunch of chords and melodies worked their way out into the quaint geography of my bedroom as the rest of the world celebrated the end of the week in their own way — and then I finally looked at the clock.
It read 12:55am.
Have I been in the zone this long? I thought as I removed my headphones. Well, I guess I have. Then I closed my computer, unplugged my audio interface, and thought, I guess it’s time for bed. So I brush my teeth, splash water onto my face, then change, and fall into the bed. And just as I do that, I look over at my night table and notice something I haven’t checked for a while: my phone. So I reach over, hit the circle button at the bottom of this black digital brick, and start scanning the various digital feeds for a comprehensive record of what’s going on and what’s transpired as I’ve been creatively zoning out in my room all by my lonesome on a Friday evening.
And that’s when it hits me: The angst. The longing. The loneliness. The anxiety. The jealousy. I see image after image and word after word describing and illustrating everything amazing and wonderful and beautiful that I’ve missed out on since I’d checked out of the social world — both physical and digital — and opted for a moment of personal creativity instead; all these reminders; all these triggers; all these reactions of pain, loneliness, and alienation because, apparently: everyone else has a better life than you. Everyone else is more attractive than you. It’s why everyone has a significant other and you don’t. It’s why everyone is so much happier, satisfied, secure, hopeful, and everything else than you.
And then I'm sitting in my bed questioning pretty much everything about my life; doubting myself; questioning my circumstances; asking condemning questions; praying angry prayers; blaming others; blaming myself; on the verge of losing my mind and sense and self, all because I’ve reach for my window in the digital landscape and had an adrenaline shot of strange audio visual documentations of other peoples’ lives that, if I take them at face value, prove just how amazing everyone else is and how hopeless I am.
I don’t know if this is only my story or if I share this story with many other people. But either way, it is problematic if the digital landscape can create these kind of reactions in people, don't you think?