Cages without Bars

I’m not a bird. I will never be a bird. I’m not fragile. I can’t be fragile. I’m not sweet. It’s not part of my nature.

I’m a human. I’m an animal.

We’re both caged.

My cage stretches far, though. I’m not a songbird, to be kept in a bell made of bars, to be the sound the bell makes when tolling in grief of lost freedoms.

When I move from location to location, my cage comes with me. Even when I forget, I never truly forget about it.

Even when I go on walks to clear my head, it remains ever faithfully within reach. It is simultaneously a comfort and an obligation. It has become a psychological necessity, an addiction, if you will.

It is small enough to fit in my pocket, yet large enough to stretch across the nation, across the globe. It can instantly transport me anywhere I want given that I keep it with me at all times.

I don’t dare leave its confines.

My cage is the cellphone in my pocket. It may not seem like much, but it keeps me forever connected to the world. Tweets, Facebook, blog posts. Webassign, Turnitin, CollegeBoard. Millions of bytes of information, all of which fit into my pocket. It is my lifeline and my ticket out.

Even when I go on walks, I constantly check its screen, hoping–why–hoping desperately for an update, a notification, a text–something that tells me I’m not alone. Not alone in my life, boredom, my head, emotions.

Something. Anything.

My life is filled with noise. Meaningless noise. White noise. Noise that doesn’t ever make sense.

My life is filled with electronic static. It’s up there, crisscrossing the wires above my head as I walk, shoes tapping concrete, asphalt, dirt.

Those wires tie me back to my cage. A cage without bars.

Sometimes, I hate technology. I hate what it does to people. I hate how it makes things easier, but so much more difficult than it has to be.

I hate that language and communication is dying. I hate that people create these bubbles–these cages–that they live in all day, every day. I hate that people seem to think that they’re invincible because of the internet. I hate that it’s so hard to live without.

It’s something that I can never get away from. Every time I step foot outside, I’m reminded of a net that surrounds me, made up of light particles and fiber optics, radio waves and signals.

Most people don’t notice what has happened.

Most people are so wrapped up in their own pleasure that they don’t realize that what they live is not real.

Most people who notice don’t say anything.

Sometimes, I wish they would.

Then I wouldn’t feel so alone when I leave my phone and walk the streets to watch the colors blur and the clouds change.

Listening to: Human, by The Killers


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