I deleted Instagram from my phone. Then I deleted my WhatsApp account irreversibly. Then shared the same fate Telegram. Yeah, talking about the “essential” apps here. About a year ago, I deleted Facebook, then Messenger. My Instagram and Facebook accounts are active in case I need to show someone something and for apps and websites that I logged in using Facebook, but that’s it. A few years ago I also quit Snapchat and Vine when they were a thing. I even went on a full no-phone detox for one-and-a-half months in 2016. I never liked Twitter anyway. And here I am now, 5am on a Sunday morning in the days of COVID-19 pandemic, everywhere is closed, laying on a couch alone with my cat and X-MEN cartoon theme music looping in my head almost as if someone remotely hijacked my mind and injected it. No digital communication other than my colleagues on Slack, minimal amount of iMessages, and good ol’ green bubbles of 27-years-old SMS.
This is almost as if someone hit the big red button of this world. A figurative god decided the push that big red button. Is it a debugger breakpoint in the source code of life? Are we getting an update over-the-air that will be patched over our existing reality? Did we hit a bug in our simulation? Is the virus faction too powerful that it requires an update to keep the gameplay balanced? After all the shaking events that collectively doomed us all to a psychologically-isolated state that seems like a forever nightmare, is this finally our deux ex machina?
Expectations. Lots of them. Even my use of the word “finally” in my previous sentence. The more we open our eyes to the external world, with each stimulus that we welcome into our convoluted wiring of our brain, we reach conclusions that collapse the wave function, limiting the set of possible outcomes. So what happens when everything is paused and we close our eyes? Without social media, without seeing all there is out there, we dive into a world of infinite possibilities. The deep blue ocean that we always belonged in, dreaming of the island and the sunset of its beach that we always imagined to hold hands and run again like children. Without external stimuli of the physical world out there it feels empty as we’re used to seeing and accessing everything instantly. Once the craving is over, doors of the digital prison are unlocked, we’re free again. We’re free from turning our back to our wildest dreams. We’re free from imagining a world where we were isolated from ourselves. It’s as if we remembered that command after a long time:
sudo su –
We’re finally in control. Finally in control of our reality. We can play with time and space. We are no longer locked inside our unprivileged shell that we’ve created. All the glitches in the matrix always cued this. As we lost ourselves in the tornadoes of data flow, as we injected ourselves with Facebook posts and Instagram likes, as we tried to take a hit of attention-seeking rollercoaster, we’ve lost something. We’ve lost our deepest motivations. But since we are our own god now…
It’s time to take it back. It’s time to close our eyes and dream of all the possible outcomes of any group of events that we want. As long as we focus on our reality and don’t observe what’s happening in the so-called objective reality that even science successfully failed to realize the fact that it’s just a drop in the ocean of infinite possibilities, this world belongs to us. And as the sun decided to go up once again, let’s close our eyes to daydreaming with no sandboxes after a long time. Let’s leave this prison, ironically when it’s almost like prison physically. And once again, gently touching the big red stop button of the universe, let’s slightly open our eyes to feel the rays of light. Feel each photon hitting your retina, carrying information for a beautiful universe.