The train doors open. You get on. It’s early, energy levels are low and no one really knows what the hell they are doing.
The girl with the yellow top is there. She’s attractive but you’ve given yourself an excuse not to talk to her.
You’re smiling. Grin and bear it. That’s what your grandad used to say. You never really got what ‘it’ was. Now it’s starting to make sense.
To the right, scroll, like, scroll, scroll, like.
To the left, like, scroll, scroll, scroll, like.
You look over. There’s a girl on the next person’s screen. She’s hot. Something happens in your brain. It feels good. You try to see more. They scroll. It’s gone. What was that feeling?
You need it back. It felt good. Whatever it was, it felt good.
There’s a box of it in your pocket. You promised yourself you wouldn’t. You’ve been trying to resist. But it feels so good. So good to be connected. So good to see the photos. So good to see the colours. So good to see the numbers.
You give yourself an excuse to look.
I wonder if Jessica texted me.
But you’ve forgotten that already.
What was it you were doing again?
Scroll, scroll, scroll, like, scroll.
There’s a photo of someone with a nice car.
They don’t deserve that.
You catch yourself being negative. Wait where did that come from?
Scroll, like, scroll, scroll, scroll.
Why was it out again? Jessica. That’s right. She didn’t reply. You put it back.
To the left, scroll, scroll, scroll, like.
To the right, like, scroll, scroll, scroll.
Where’d that good feeling go? It felt so good. Good but dirty. Like masturbating to porn. It feels good. Really good. Then it stops. And you’re back wondering what you were doing.
You start to wonder. Does everyone else think like this?
Or are they trapped? Am I trapped?
Forget the rise of the robots, the AI apocalypse is already here in the form of endless entertainment. The infinite scroll.
The infinite scroll is fossil fuel for the brain. Instant, quick, cheap and unreliable in the long run.
Over-consumption over anything throws the balance off.
The train comes to a halt. The doors open. And then they close. The girl in the yellow gets up in a hurry. Her mouth hangs open as the train pulls out of the station. She was sucked in. Trapped. Not for long but long enough for her concentration to be captured. The next station isn’t far. Scroll, like, scroll, scroll, like.
What’s success to you?
Having a family?
Making lots of money?
Finishing that novel you’ve been sitting on for a year? (me)
Being healthy, physically and mentally?
Whatever it is, it’ll require extended periods of concentration.
And if you don’t want to risk missing out on the thing you’re chasing, avoid that which reduces your ability to focus at all costs.
Look up. Your station’s next.