Finger Slaves

a personal narrative by Marissa originally published on Teen Ink

Note:  any misspelling, improper usage of lowercase, or other error is on purpose.

Writing things down on paper has always helped me organize all my vicious thoughts. It’s a constant navigation system screaming into my brain on what I’m supposed to be doing. This navigation system poisons my brain in ways I wish I could describe. I started thinking less and less as my phone got more and more advanced. I bought a seven plus. It was calling my mom and dad for me, how could such a thing do such a thing? Pencils slowly escaped from my bedroom, for my desk used to be a staples supplies store, but now it is filling with useless wires. Headphones and adapters take the place of colored pencils, which used to color my imagination. I no longer need to write down what to do at home and print, for my school has given me a device with all the keys to success. My teachers are sending me books online and the old paper copies are burned like they did something wrong. I work and work and work, but I accidentally misplaced one of those million cords in the endless long pile.  There goes last week’s paycheck. I miss telling my friends secrets thru their ears, but, wait, now I can send secrecy through the public internet.
How ironic, huh?
I lost my best friend, but didn’t know I did until she subtweeted me telling me. No longer did I have a face to face psychotherapy connection with anyone. My brother sent me a text message asking to play some online game while Monopoly went to Goodwill. I watched garage sales get bigger as people sold the past and bought more storage.
How ironic that we get rid of the old past things we no longer want just to buy more storage, right?
My book bag is cold and empty. I slightly apologize yet applaud for its neatness. No longer organized papers, now organized files. Files of Powerpoints and documents holding all the information for my assessments.

Administration smiles at their progress, while we sit and stop thinking. Thank god my computer has a high speed processor because I wouldn’t be able to hold all these thoughts on my own.
Paper is forgotten. My therapist no longer sits with her pink gel pen and note pad, she sits with an ipad and worries more about typing the word rather than my problems. It would save money if google was able to give me advice.  I mean, it’s gotten me to pass chemistry, the hardest class of high school.
Every summer I wait for my schedule like a kid at a candy store, but this summer I got a technology email instead. Asking me to sign a permission slip and get insurance on some laptop that would ultimately guarantee me a cap and gown. I thought, Well, hmm, if all it takes was a computer and a couple signatures, I’ll do anything to pass. How will this school year go?
Soon it was made clear to me children of all ages were being made to use this technology and, soon, we lost our voice.
My teacher inspired me to write, but I no longer needed a rough draft.  Every key was fixed for auto correct and the final draft automatically created.

My handwriting is atrocious, I wonder why. I only practice using a pencil a couple times a week.
Even at my place of work, we no longer practice spelling names for reservations, we now type into a computer and I no longer need to use my voice for the computer sends an instant text message alerting the customers.
You may ask yourself, Why is this girl complaining? She has a thousand dollar computer in her lap, and yet she is ungrateful.
I am not ungrateful, I am young and was born into the wrong time period. I like the laptop, my life is much simpler,  but who said it had to be? I like hand-writing love letters and essays. I enjoy reading print as well.
$350, reads the online bill receipt. I never needed glasses, none of the five of us in my family did. But i’m seventeen now and I can’t see for the love of god. These computer screens and telephones are blinding me to the point that I need optic insurance.
Technology is changing my life in ways I probably don’t even know about yet, but sometimes I have a hard time comprehending my abilities to function without my old hands. My hands feel old, they feel unused. Why have them if all they do is type? My fingers are frozen on keys. Slaves for the keys of this laptop that I am truly ungratefully proud of hating.

Marissa is a junior.  She says, “Starting off very shy, I came out of my shell and developed a writing piece that was inspired by my anxious thoughts on technology.  Early on, I wrote short poems about anything I could force my mind to think of, but after that I formed an ability to write these nonfiction pieces of art that I knew my peers would be able to relate to.”


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