Keeping up with the strangers.

My hands are dry of so much hand sanitizer. I feel like the pandemic hazy feeling finally got me, as lately I have been feeling apathetic and without energy. I’m a person who is moved by plans, short term plans, and simple ones, like saving money for a workshop, a small trip, or a bigger purchase. With the virus going around, all of my short plans were washed away and I constantly find myself in the cloud of uncertainty. The only thing that I’m sure is going to be there are the bills. Those are always certain. It doesn’t matter what happens to me, the rent and all the expenses will be required to be paid. No questions were asked. No one cares about you or how are you feeling. Capitalism for the win. 

During this almost six months, I found different ways to cope and try to stay sane. It’s very hard because you are washed with the news and the social media trolls, always worried about who is going to call you out next. There is no privacy anymore and cellphones are weapons. No one is saved and if a video is well-edited, it’s hard to know who is on the right, and people are quick to judge and find others to support their judgment without knowing what happened. Yes, phones sometimes are used for good causes, but most of the time people trying to show the “injustice” don’t get the whole story or don’t know what happened before. They just assumed based on what they saw and are quick to share. I rarely share a video of someone harassing or being harassed. It’s not up to me to judge, I was not there. 

This virus let most of the population walking around so vigilant on others, they forgot to look for themselves. They look to see what others are doing and worried about filming, the cellphone is always in their hands, like a weapon. Everyone wants instant fame, who knows maybe they will get checks or be praised for someone in the media. Remember that kid, who posted the bullying video and everyone started giving him shout outs, money for his education “count on me for whatever you need in life”. It turned out he was a small person, a 26 years old actor, who created all that to show how media works. No one fact check anything, they just embark on whatever they are being shown on the internet. Next thing you know, the actor is laughing at people’s naiveness for believing everything they see on the internet. Another post I remember was a mom who let her baby lay on the airport floor, while she was on her cellphone. People were quick to judge, and the poor lady, later on, explained she was just exhausted. The worst part is that she had to come through and explain herself. Which she should have never done it. Let the trolls burn. They will find something else soon. The Internet is a land of nobody and I think it should have some laws. Free speech is ok, free trolling for media purposes with a clear intention of damaging other people’s life its not. 

The Truman Show in your hands
Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Remember that woman who was trying to put gasoline in her car, while she while parking her vehicle on the wrong side? People stayed inside of another car, while filming and laughing for a good minute, making jokes. Yes, it’s stupid, but you don’t have the right to make other people’s life your reality show and entertainment. Nobody has empathy this days, it’s all for the show.  Past few years a boom in filming baby gender reveals happened and with that the creativity. People who had just found out they were pregnant doing a blood exam to have a baby gender reveal after being pregnant for four weeks. It’s all for the show and the constant attention-seeking this chaotic situation we leave this time. 

I’m thankful for not having cellphones with cameras during my teenage years. The early 2000s was the golden era of my life. First of all, it would be an embarrassment to come back and watch it later on in life. I still cringe with Facebook Memories from six years ago, I can’t imagine watching dancing videos from when you were 14/15 years old. Ew, no thank you.I cannot imagine the amount of creeping on celebrities I would perform.The Backstreet Boys would definitely issue a restraining order on me. Stalking a foreigner boyfriend and seeing he moved on on Instagram? Hell no, it hurts just to think about it. I think that’s why most of my stories and scripts are based on an era before camera cellphones. It was easier to hideaway.

I can’t fathom cellphones in my hands in the early 2000’s

Life is meant to live and not be broadcast. Privacy is gold and people are losing track of what is real and who they are. It’s ok to showcase your work and your productivity and inspire others, but when you use this tool to promote shame, it’s time to let go.  While you are playing paparazzi, someone’s life is in jeopardy. Go there and ask if they need help instead of filming. 

When I started this post yesterday at the airport, I wanted to talk about the pandemic and the effects thats it has caused on me. I figured out then, that my writing is here to distract me and give me joy from whatever this crazy world throws at me. Writing is how I’m coping.

What kind of joy are you trying to have in your life during this difficult times? I cooked, I intended to clean, I bought unnecessary stuff online. I cried with uncertainty multiple times.

Be safe and stay healthy !

J.G. Snelly

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