Every morning, I wake up and turn off the alarm on my phone and then click the folder labeled “News” and open the USAToday app and scan the headlines and then in that same folder, the “News” folder, open the Facebook app and scan the headlines and in each I’m hoping to find exactly nothing new. I want there to be no news.
I want there to be no news in the world because in the world the adage is true. No one would be shot, no wars begun or continued, no freshly discovered death-vow diseases, no political controversies, no scandals, no celebrities of any kind.
I hide most of my “friends” anyway but even with the limited few who remain whom I do still care about enough to suffer the task, the ultimate goal is to get out of bed quickly. So I rush through. Anything I can will myself to ignore, I ignore. At five, ten minutes post-sleep, my guard is not always at its best and I’ll Buzzfeed this, UpWorthy that, I’ll fall for the you-won’t-believe headlines now and again, stuff that when I’m fully alert and not at all looking to waste my tick-tocking time–although there are days when that is exactly the goal–I can easily skip. What I’m looking for are real-world life updates. Not just the important ones. Anything. Instagram photos of fingernails, videos of children, cute dogs, cuter cats, the odd rabbit or chinchilla, the idle thoughts coming between cycles of laundry. If my friends make available a part of their lives to be shared, I will share it with them. As I would expect in return.
What I’m hoping for is that a day will come when I check Facebook and there is nothing new, nothing at all. Setting aside the funny YouTube videos or Vines we as Internet citizens feel it is our duty to pass along–the links to other people’s lives, created by strangers, the stuff I try to avoid anyway. When I say I want nothing, I do mean those things, but also your actual lives. I want a day when the sunset is enough. Even taking a picture of the sunset is enough, if you have to, but you decide to keep that one for yourself. I do hope your baby does something terribly cute today but I hope your phone is in the other room, your camera, I hope as you and your friends sit around and play laugh-roulette and your cheeks are warm with preemptive giggles, until the energy dies down a little and you’re consciously aware that this is one of the good times before life gets heavy, and there’s a shit movie on Comedy Central that you’re all watching just to prolong your time together, I hope you resist the urge to shout out your friend-to-the-left’s name and then carefully frame it so the other two jokesters are casually in the background and then deposit that memory into the banks at Instagram–as if the moment itself is proprietary, as if it belongs there, pinched off and separated and chucked down a well. Please. Just keep it. Savor it, it’s yours. No photos. No hashtags. My lovely friends, I keep you for a reason, I want you to know that you are important to me, and I do want to share in your happiness and your fear. These are each of them burdens lightened by more hands. But I’m also looking to you for strength, I’m looking for a reason to get out of bed, I want no news, I want to please be encouraged by the imagined secret passions that were all too important to share, and thus find the motivation myself. To go. To do. To get up, get on, get back to creating the me that none of you will ever know.