an irate blog post about why my phone can go fuck itself

My Android phone is being punished. I have shaved its head, stripped off its jewels, and gave it sackcloth to shuffle around in with its head down, scalp slowly baking in the midday sun. The lock screen and wallpapers are black. The icons are a custom bland gray. I have reduced it to living in a permanent gray scale mode just in case the browser tries to sneak in a pop of color. No, my phone does not deserve colours. In fact, it doesn’t even get to see the browser anymore unless I, not it, need to look up something for a quick second. Otherwise, the browser can go visit my computer instead. The computer and I are chill. But the phone can go get fucked.

Is there an end to the punishment? I don’t know. But I know that it has given me a lot of grief. See, I’ve been on the internet since the late 90s, saw tech empires rise and fall, stayed up all night working on the HTML code for my AngelFire site, but I was never miserable on the internet even with all of my then-youthful indiscretions. I value all the time I had wiled away on the pre-mobile internet. But the mobile internet fucks with your perception of time.

mobile misery

The mobile internet has endless scroll. Endless posts. You don’t leave it alone like you leave a computer alone, you take it with you when you take a dump. It sleeps beside you in bed, nuzzled in closer than any beloved pet. It knows your weaknesses, your fetishes, your obsessions. You feel productive, switching from one app to another, attention and soul completely displaced from your physical form, temporarily freeing you from the confines of time, mortality and the ceaseless clock. But it’s a lie! Four hours are gone and you’re still there holding the fucking phone.

I know I’m not alone in how my phone fucks with me. It steals away seconds and years I’ll never earn back. It makes me forget that I have interests beyond posting and reading posts. My nighttime anxiety likes to skitter around, insisting that the internet will assuage the bad feelings of evening dread. I obligingly open the browser and check the bird site. Behold, I have invited more hell into my cerebral cortex, and it eagerly intermingles with the hell that already resides inside. It’s a hell mixer. They party hard and I cannot kick them out. It’s a bad time.

the computer is blameless

My relationship with my computer, a closer representation of the pre-mobile internet, is mostly fine. The same hell places exist on it but I don’t take it to the bathroom nor do I sleep with it. Hell stays on a desk, stationary and mounted. Hell is put to bed at night. Hell goes offline because I made Cold Turkey block the entire internet at 10:30 pm. I did it years ago and I can’t figure out how to unblock it. It’s very effective. The computer understands boundaries.

I still use my phone. It plays podcasts. It features RSS feeds for me to read. All of those originate from the source of hell, but it isn’t exactly hellish. I download audio and text, and that’s it. The content ends. My tiny mortal brain can handle the amount of information in my fingertips and I am no longer paralyzed by the concept of infinity. I can go to sleep.

whose weakness?

But is it really the phone’s fault? Isn’t it my fault for not having self-control? For not having the ability to moderate my impulsive behaviours and make reasonable life decisions as an adult? Probably to an extent. But again, I am not alone, I am sure there are many of us out there unhappy with our mobile internet use.

People have gone back to dumbphones, and I respect that. But I want the navigation apps on my phone, the camera, the reading apps. I just don’t want the posting part. I’m a raccoon and I am too easily lured in by the filthiest garbage to gawk at. The internet is humanity showing its ass, and the phone won’t stop showing it to me. That’s why it’s being punished. No internet ass for me. No colour for the phone. Let’s see if it behaves.