Take Me Offline

Take me offline. Take me somewhere that radiates life instead of Wi-Fi, energy instead of Instagram. Take me back to when the internet had a capital I, when computers were a rarity, and no one spoke in acronyms. Take me offline, and I'll show you how good I can be, how good we can be.

When we talk, I want to hear more than the sound of my fingers clacking against the keyboard. I want to hear your voice, its subtle lilts and falls that make it uniquely yours. I want to hear your excitement, indifference, anger, joy, fear; I want to hear your purpose. If you get sick, I want to understand your pain through the rasp and breathiness in your throat. Please do not send me that sad, green image of a face. He is not someone I care to know. When you tell me a secret, I want to feel your breath against my ear as you whisper. I want to know that you're whispering at all.

Those symbolic ellipses at the bottom of my screen when you type are not enough for me; I want to live in real-time, when what you think and what you say happen together. I can't exist in the space between your texts, your posts, your tweets. When we talk, I want to see your lips articulate your words. I want to see your teeth. I'm tired of watching our conversations unfold in type-face. ALL CAPS doesn’t fully illustrate how angry you can get; I can’t see your face flushing red or your fists clenched underneath the table. I can’t hear your fury. And who decided that <3 was an accurate symbol for love? I don’t need anyone to heart me.

I want to remember how it feels to be alone. Not just alone in a room or a house, but alone, period. There must be a way to stop this constant bombardment of cyber-babble. I don’t want to see a picture of your color-enhanced plate of soggy scrambled eggs every time you manage to make yourself breakfast. I don’t need to read your astute observation that omg traffic sucks. I want to lose myself in my own head, surround myself with just my thoughts and observe how they loop and twirl throughout the day. I want to give myself the chance to be interesting without knowing whether or not you Like me.

I’m tired of defining my time by preset parameters. My life cannot fit inside the capacities of Loud, Silent, and Vibrate. Loud is never loud enough for a rock concert, and Silent never feels silent enough during an exam. Untether me from this electronic leash I’ve clamped around my own neck. I don’t want to be connected like that anymore.

Let’s create our own connection, one that doesn’t need an ethernet cable or cell service. Let’s remind our bodies what it’s like to feel more than a buzz against our jeans. I want to experience your heart beat against mine until they pulse in unison. I want to learn the smell of your shampoo, the taste of your last meal. Let’s get real. Realer than what you can fit in 140 characters or less. Realer than your relationship status and your most recent friend request. Let’s meet at a bar, a park, a coffee shop. Let’s sing our words. Yell them, spit them until we choke on our rediscovered need for human contact. Let’s bring all five senses back into the equation of communication. Let’s get offline.

 

*Of course, I understand the irony of this forum. But, deal with it.

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