a millennial mourns an inanimate intangible item

Hi my name is Bekkah and I average 4 likes a post on Instagram. I often feel like I was born into the wrong chunk of history. Cognitively and spiritually, I know it’s not true; I know that there is no such thing as ‘the good old days’ except for maybe the first three chapters of Genesis (but I’m pretty sure the serpent was lurking by then).

Regardless of which creation narrative you ascribe to, I think we can agree that the world is careening out of control. These are difficult days to live through. So the last thing I need is for one of my most-used, most pertinent iPhone apps to be incorporated by freaking Microsoft Outlook and therefore rendered unusable to me because why would anyone voluntarily use Microsoft Outlook? Like what the actual dump.

Sunrise Calendar app was perfect…and free. I recommended it to countless like, 3 people and it equally changed their lives. To censor a quote from Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook, “The world’s hard enough as it is guys. It’s *** hard enough as it is.”

In the wake of this untimely, unnecessary loss, I’ve been thinking about the long-term psychological effects of being constantly tossed and turned and stimulated and rejected and frustrated by inanimate intangible items: apps that won’t refresh, songs that won’t download; profile pics that won’t crop themselves just right; Instagram Icons that change over night and none of us got to vote on it ~ we just have to happy slap along on the first world bandwagon train.

Somedays I’m overwhelmed by the frenzy of it all. And on those days, I’m most deeply undone by the implications that we don’t seem to collectively acknowledge. It’s kind of unnerving the way opinions are wielded like facts and how many emotionally charged arguments go entirely uncriticized for their logical inconsistencies. As a believer, it breaks my heart to witness the sweeping inability of humanity to connect the dots, the blindness and sheer disregard for actual Absolute Truth ~ let alone the concept ~ and the unfolding of certain forecasts that once seemed ages away.

As a critical thinking naturopathic whose college education partially concentrated on the History of the Holocaust and the culturally accepted, government sponsored eugenics that made it possible, I struggle to trust Science As An Entity; as a woman of color whose grandmother’s friends experienced the devastatingly concealed side effects of early birth control, I remain skeptical of my Kaiser Permanente physician and her assistants who spent half of my appointment trying to sell me drugs from the pharmacy downstairs and not once inquired after my dietary habits or lifestyle.

Add to these affairs the fiasco that is an American election year all played out on the platform of social media and my attempt at escaping it all is entirely undermined. I just want to see how Matt from Album Surf glassed his latest board and privy myself to cute pics of Brooke Fraser’s baby.

But I get it. I understand that social media is where many people live and debate and have their say; it’s where they process life and work out their grief; and when people do have a large influence or following, it’s their opportunity to comfort the mourning and encourage the downtrodden. But damn if I don’t miss the gloriously gendered, iphone-less days of the 90s. The thing is, I won’t ever know how much of the nostalgia is for just being a child, and how much of it results from the daily tidal waves of global information on a planet with hotter southern winters in the last five years than I lived through in twenty.

Nevertheless, we do not mourn as those who have no hope. Everything sad is coming untrue.

~ b


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