In a moment of absolute loneliness tonight I turned on my iPhone and went to click on an app that would engage… entertain… distract me from what was going on in my head for a few minutes. My fingers hovered over the screen for about three seconds and I thought ‘no, not that one; no that’s not quite right; no don’t want them (family)to know’ and after just 7 seconds I realised “there’s nothing here for me. Nothing.” It was a huge realisation.
If I can be explicit for a moment, by ‘here’ I meant the digital world and by ‘here for me’ I absolutely meant meaning, satisfaction, knowledge, completion, finding the key/answer.
They say today that emigration is so much easier because of the many programmes and devices out there to make communication so much more accessible (I’ve written an entire thesis for my masters on how our former Taoiseach sold our young on the idea that emigration is but a step away from regular community & family communications), but, if anything, it makes it harder. How do you tell a close friend or sister over the phone, or over skype, the stupid depths your tormented brain will go when left unsupervised for a few hours, I don’t know. I don’t.
So it leaves you bereft. Lonely. And, occasionally, desperately unhappy. That very 1st world, 21st century word that I’m loathe to use – unhappy.
But here’s the mad thing – I had an incredible day. I finished the most beautiful quilt. I wrote a pretty good project application. I had wonderful friends for dinner. I got to read a whole 20 more pages of Stephen Fry’s Chronologies. It was a good day. Yet here I am. Reaching out to unknown you’s.
So, unknown you’s, I hope some of you are in the same boat and can salute as we sail past each other…
(And, believe me, the irony is not lost on me that I’m lamenting digital impasse on a digital medium, but you’ll forgive me.)