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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

A televised edition: episode 9—advertisement

Jiya Patel
A picture that my friends always use to prove that I do have a phone addiction.

My average screen time on my phone alone is longer than the amount of sleep I get per night. That’s not including my computer, which I use about as often if not more than my phone. Sometimes, I use the two of them at the same time. Sometimes, I do this in front of the TV.

I send more posts and Reels to the Instagram group chat than I do actual conversations. In fact, we had to make a separate group chat to make plans. It isn’t used as much as our “funny” group chat. The same video is sent by three different people—we never watch each others’ clips.

I consume media faster than it can be produced. It’s getting to the point where I’ve seen the same video three times on TikTok, twice on YouTube shorts, and five times on Instagram. I look at the clock; it’s only 11:00 p.m., but then I turn back to my phone and hear my dad leaving for work, and before I know it, my alarm is going off.

I have 20/20 vision, but in these dark hours of the night, my eyes unfocus as I try to follow the endless text on screen. My mouth becomes so dry that I lose all feeling in it. My tear ducts begin to water as I gaze unblinkingly at the screen, pulling me back for a moment as I try to open and close my eyes rapidly, eventually waking back up into awareness.

I have 20/20 vision, but in these dark hours of the night, my eyes unfocus as I try to follow the endless text on screen.

The same songs are always playing on the singular tab I have opened next to whatever I’m looking at. I’m not the kind of person who has a cluttered computer; I have to sink completely into the comforting hug of quicksand as I am blissfully pulled under.

“Product hauls” and “de-influencing you” videos pop up on my page just the same. I’m being influenced and coerced into consumerism anyway. I watch clips about what concealers and serums to use for dark circles as I stare at the screen, the time sitting at 4:00 a.m. I get up and do my skincare. Maybe.

I hear the high-pitched, dream-filled barks of my dog outside of my bedroom door. I want to be in the dream that is making his paws twitch and his tail wag. I hope he doesn’t dream about the brand his kibble is—I hope he hasn’t seen the commercials advertising the latest and greatest gadgets for dogs. I tell myself that he’s running around off-leash in the blackberry patch in the summer.

I’d like to be in that dream, or maybe one of my own. I’d rather hear the ridiculous instructional voice on my LeapFrog than the infuriating AI voice on Temu ads. It’s my own version of the ever-irritating “back in my day…” story that nobody really wants to hear. 

And yet, I don’t dream. I stare at the scream as it curates my dreams into something of its own interest.

I miss my VTech.

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About the Contributor
Eva Harshman
Eva Harshman, Editor-in-Chief
Eva Harshman is a senior who is thrilled to be entering her fourth and final year on staff as Editor-in-Chief. Apart from writing for The Central Trend, she enjoys riding her Thoroughbred, Thirsty, spending time with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows for hours on end. She is also an avid competitor in Odyssey of the Mind alongside her teammates who also happen to be her best friends. Although she tends to stick around the people she knows best, The Central Trend has broadened her horizons beyond compare. Being a part of Room 139 has taught her so much; she has met so many people thanks to The Central Trend.   Favorite type of story: Editorials Pets: A bunny (Georgie), a dog (Leon), and a horse (Thirsty) Dream vacation: Tokyo, Japan Favorite books: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie MBTI and Enneagram: ENTP-T 8w7

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