I don’t need the light

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Everyone around me is indulging in their phones.

They constantly have notifications. They are getting likes and friends and followers.

But I am on my own.

They share their lives with each other, and I am left in the dark.

I got my phone when I was in sixth grade. I was so excited to be able to keep in touch with my parting friends and sister. At that time, people had social media, but I wasn’t the only one without it.

Now, almost everyone I know has some form of social media.

Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok: you name it, and people around me have it.

They know what is going on with the rest of the world. They all know what is trendy. They stay in touch with people more because those are the platforms that everyone is using.

They see friends’ adventures; they can see pictures of their friends every day. They see famous people and their daily lives.

But they also know what “perfection” looks like.

They stress out about what they post and what they don’t. They look at others and decide what they aren’t, instead of deciding what they are.

They see people’s edited pictures and assume they need to be better. They see their 52nd try. Their 109th picture. They see their “perfection.”

It becomes something they need to be better than. Humans are always trying to be better than the next person. They are always trying to be skinnier, smarter, or more talented. No matter what they see, they try to be better.

I am on my own.”

That is something I am glad I don’t have. Of course, I see my fair share from my friends, but I don’t have constant access to it. I also see a reasonable amount of “perfection” from the company members I watch, but, at least, I also see their imperfections.

People around me stress out about their social media life. I have fewer followers than so-and-so. This person isn’t following me back.

They have an obsession. They can’t spend a day without checking their social media.

They continuously scroll, staring into a glowing rectangle, burning their eyes.

I am sometimes disappointed that I don’t have social media because I can’t stay in touch with faraway friends as easily. But I am not disappointed that I don’t have an addiction to my phone or to any of its contents.

For now, I’m glad to be left in the dark.