An Addict's Tale: Tethered

If you were not aware already, I am an addict. I am a slave to invisible shackles. While my feet can be anywhere in the world, my chain looms in my back pocket, in my backpack or sitting safely as the centerpiece of my living room. It's hard to believe how far we have come in the last twenty years. Our telephones no longer need cables, our computers have no wires and the internet surrounds us at every waking moment. As we have moved further and further from a wired lifestyle, I have become more and more tethered.

Technology is like a tether that I have long wanted to sever, but have been much too afraid. Afraid of missing out on somebody else's digital life, somebody else's latest proclamation, the world's breaking news or just the newest social trend. It seems grotesque to be fearful of missing digital nonsense while the physical world floats right by.

This is where I stand. I am desperate to loosen my dependence on glowing screens.

To be free from the constant restraint of buzzing, tones and alerts. To be lost in actual reality instead of locked into a fantasy of posts, updates and lies. And to be free from constant contact at every ping, ring or ding. There seems to be no simple escape.

I cannot fathom a world without these chains, but in my wildest dreams, I long for it. I long to not hold a device to my ear or worry about responding in a respectable time frame. I hope for a day when I do not care about the senseless things the world is doing, but care deeply for my own reality in front of my own two eyes.

I believe untethering would open up a brave new world. I have missed too many conversations and too many opportunities with my face illuminated. Fear of unknown discussions, awkward moments or foreseen boredom allows my tether to pull tight. Luring me into a zone of introverted comfort instead of communal engagement.

I can imagine untethering will be unimaginably difficult. But with where I am now - untethering is not a necessary evil but essential to recognize the opportunity all around me.