Out past the interface is a quieter place, where the frothing, seething waves of media recede into a peaceful night.
You float into the calm beyond, the news no longer crashing on your conscience. No emails, texts or calls. And for the first time in months–years?–you find yourself alone. Just you, you and your thoughts, old friends with everything long since said. You and your thoughts, adrift beneath a starry sky.
It’s your thoughts that break the silence.
What would you do, they ask, with all the time in the world? What would you do, if you couldn’t push bits to a social stream? If you didn’t have anything vying for your attention, or an inbox awaiting your response?
What will you reach for, if you can’t pull down a refresh (that old one-armed bandit) and hope that something’s happened?
Maybe you’ll read the book you’ve been putting off. Maybe you’ll cook dinner, ride a bicycle, pick up an instrument and strum, strum, strum. You might write a distant relative–an honest-to-goodness letter, mind, pen and paper and postage and all of it–or you might finally invest in your penmanship.
Maybe you’ll remember the world around you, the hummingbirds flitting between the neighbors’ flowers and the dewdrops sparkling in the morning sun. Birdsongs, breezes, the pitter-patter rhythm of the summer rain. The sun, a gilded orb overhead, falling, falling until it disappears, a last brilliant flash upon cotton-candy clouds.
And then the night! When the stars shine down from across the eons, a million exclamations of the vastness of it all.
It’s all where you left it.
It’s all where you left it, if only you’d made time to notice.
Welcome back, whisper your thoughts. Your family and friends—not followers or follows, but your mentors, schoolmates, and neighbors down the street—they’re right where they’ve always been.
They’re right where they’ve always been, waiting for you to return.