All those little dots glowed green.
Four hundred and forty-seven people,
Four hundred and forty-seven faces,
Four hundred and forty-seven ideas,
Four hundred and forty-seven lives,
Four hundred and forty-seven stories,
All assembled in one tiny little square of technology.
She had so many “friends.” All those green dots signifying their existence, and yet, not a single dot grew to be something more. No chat box opened, no words were typed, and no feelings exchanged, nothing at all.
She supposed it was the correct punishment, for lack of better word. To connect with each other, people had made such leaps in technology, such advancements to let people be closer over distances, to let humanity feel a little less lonely in the big, bad world.
Truth was, the world was a lonely place regardless of wires, or little glowing dots, or a world wide web; a web of spun lies, and false hope.
Taking matters into her own hands, she clicked on one of the faces next to the little green dots. A conversation appeared, one she almost never remembered having. But that was inconsequential because she wouldn’t forget this one, and how could she? It was hard initiating conversations with people over the wobbly web because they could choose to put you into a box. This box could be labeled with a variety of…labels; crazy, needy, clingy, desperate, too sad, always sad, talkative, boring, ignorant etc.
She sipped on a juice box. It was orange, some sort of luxurious thing imported from some country or another. It felt enriching, almost like a toddler’s liquid courage. So, she typed.
The answer appeared some fifteen minutes later, and she eagerly snatched up her keyboard to write something back but stopped short. She had to wait at least a minute or two, or she’d be put in one of the boxes, like obsessed. Obsessed was bad, and she had to politely wait a while before replying to someone she texted in the first place. Texting etiquette, I suppose.
Five minutes into the conversation, she thoroughly regretted it. It was not only over in those five minutes, but it was also the most unsatisfactory conversation she’d had, and that was saying something; there was plenty of dissatisfactory conversation to compete with. The little bit of attention she needed was not given, so she turned to someone else.
In a frenzy to talk to someone other than a bot of her own creation – another fit of madness and loneliness – she reached out to another little dot. And then another, and another, and so on, until she was stricken with a sense of alienation, and insecurity; she couldn’t even imagine what those people were thinking of her, for disturbing them out of the blue, what idiocy! Anxiety gnawed at the insides of her stomach until it physically hurt.
She opened another window and watched something she’d been putting off for a year. The show caused disgruntlement; it was filled with tragic happenings and made her cry. The distraction failed for the most part. Oh, it made tears flow down in steady streams down her cheeks, but not because of the failed attempts by the characters to fix things, but because she kept glancing toward the other window, which showed no new notifications.
All those dots were just that, dots. They weren’t people. People…talk. And listen. And speak. And she didn’t have people. She didn’t even have those dots.
A new bout of sobs burst out from deep within.
It was so lonely, being another little green dot.