“The Case of a Missing iPhone” — A Short Story

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1 | 2:25am

I can’t feel my legs.

It feels like I’m walking on air, I can’t see, and worst of all…I’ve just checked my purse and my iPhone is missing.

Oh no. Its probably stolen by now. Did I drop it somehow? 

I frantically feel alongside my pants hoping that my fingers would graze the hard, smooth, rectangular possession.

Nothing.

My stomach rumbles with hunger. I suddenly feel nauseous thereafter.  The shots of vodka that I had previously gulped down in less than 30 seconds (thanks to a sexy tall, dark, and handsome gentleman) were way over my normal limits. I’m not sure that I had any to begin with. After debating in my head for a while about whether I should turn back (or not), my stomach won. 

I stumble and wobble to my apartment complex less than 2 minutes walking distance. Luckily my keys are on my person. I don’t have a phone to call Trevor, a neighbor, so he’d let me in. What a night that would’ve turned out to be. 

Way to bring in the new year.

After fidgeting with the keys in my door handle, I finally swing it open to my cat Ace as he rushes towards me with meow greetings. I lift him from the ground, hugging his soft fur as I allowed this embrace to make me forget about the actual worry.

“Buzz! Buzz!”

Buzz! Buzz!”

What’s this? 

I follow the sound of the buzzing. Eyes half shut and feet tripping over everything in my path. I pull back the bed pillows.

“I got it! I got it! Yes!”

I kiss my phone, gently curl up on the plush rug in the middle of my bedroom, and drift off to sleep. 

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“Roller coasters”

Around and around…

The cycle never ends

Heartbroken tears puddle the ground in front of our feet, images shattered

I never wanted any of this. I wished many nights that we never even began. Because the pain is irreversible.

Every month is a roller coaster ride

Every word is glass falling from lips that sincerely try to carefully deliver them to the ear of the other

Every movement is calculated

Waiting, watching, hesitant. To see what move the other makes first.

Around and around…

I am sick to my stomach

“I love you” but “I can’t stand you”

Life cannot thrive here. Love cannot live.

It needs a better home. Better caregivers. Better. Best.

I dreamed of us many times

Not a couplet, but three

The future is gone. The dream, deferred.

Around and around…

My mind wanders

I hope for a fairytale ending

I pray for your demons

I love your Most High

I attempt to understand

Love isn’t enough

So

Around and around we go…

From a Former Social Media Junkie, to You

“I’m a father of six girls so I have witnessed first hand young women take 30 photos to find one they like best. We have heard this line a lot–we see a highlight reel when we look at someone’s Facebook or Instagram, so we’re not seeing the other 29 images that didn’t make the cut, that were almost identical, but there may have been a little crease or wrinkle, or a hair out of place. Our children, and our moms and our aunts, and even the blokes, we use social media to compare. Research shows that social comparison is the best way to damage your self-esteem. The more you stare and compare, the worst you’ll feel about yourself.”

– Dr. Justin Coulson

Dr. Coulson is an international speaker/author and one of Australia’s leading parenting experts. As you can see from the statement above, he is no stranger to the effects of social media and how it tends to make us all the more self conscious…as if we needed any more reasons to feel less secure about ourselves.

FUNNY INDIAN MEMES (www.google.com/images)

I can count on numerous occasions how many times I’ve fallen victim to comparing the life of my peers online to my own. Yes, I was a “social media junkie” and Twitter happened to be my go to. Oftentimes, I would find myself feeling as if there was more that I needed to be doing based on what the people that I followed were displaying on their own profiles. Seeing others who are in the same peer group seeming to accomplish really important things while you’re sitting like a lump on a log at home can be pretty discouraging and even lead you to believe that your life actually sucks. Which is obviously far from the truth. According to Sasha, a 16-year-old junior in high school, on social media, “everyone looks like they’re having the best day ever, all the time.” Which is obviously far from the truth.

awesome life on facebook

Aside from users projecting a false reality online, I immediately noticed the effects that it had on the expectations that others placed on their relationships because of social media. Amanda Jane Sankey, a student attending Western Kentucky University, says “If you take a minute and look through Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, you can find paragraphs after paragraphs about the kind of boyfriend (or girlfriend) you “deserve.” Many online users of social media outlets take these “relationship affirmations” seriously which in turn causes a great deal of turmoil between themselves and their partner. Of course, not everyone who comes in contact with this sort of information falls prey to the #relationshipgoals hashtag, however, constant exposure does begin to permeate the subconscious mind.

Relationship goals lead to idolatry, envy, and ultimately, destruction altogether. You find yourself comparing your own partnership with some stranger’s online that you don’t even really know. And no, having access to their lives via Twitter or Instagram does not count for knowing who these people truly are. Unless you are physically around the couple for a significant amount of time, you will never honestly know what their partnership entails. #Facts.

relationship killers image

So how do we combat this dilemma? How do we do damage control after the damage has already taken place? I can give you my personal fix or you can choose to follow your own based on the needs and wants in your life. For starters, I resorted to cutting out all forms of social media except for the ones that did not directly contribute to an emotional downward spiral such as YouTube. I deactivated my Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and even Tumblr (for a while) until I was able to regain control over my own self perception and actually focus on some significant goals that I had been putting off due to consistent procrastination and distractions on social media networks.

After a couple of weeks off-the-grid and out of the matrix, I felt more at peace and I began to realize again just how much we are all dealing with similar, if not identical, struggles in our day to day lives. No one is exempt from sadness, pain, depression, hardship, or any other negative experience while residing on this lovely planet that we call Earth.

photo credit: NYMAG

And don’t get me wrong, I do understand that for some people, social media is their sole way of making money and building up their business brands which I am not totally against. I feel that when utilized effectively, social media can be a great business, marketing, and network tool, but even CEOs go on social media hiatuses for weeks to a month. Overall, be sure that you are attentive to your own mental and emotional health. You know what you need to be successful more than anyone else. It is already within you.

Allowing the perceived happiness of someone else’s life online will inevitably destroy the amount of self-confidence that you do possess. You do not need social media to validate you for being an awesome human being. You just are.