“Ima, why do adults always look at their phones?”
“Oh, I… um… it’s…”
Because if you think kids have no self control, you’re kidding yourself. Because adults have no self control. Because it gets lost over time. Because we’re so misguided. Because we’re just awful.
Because we adults get addicted to things. Because we are needy and insecure. Because we cannot control our basic instincts to become completely absorbed and obsessed and self centered. Because instant gratification is a too sweet. Because too much of a goof thing may make you sick but sometimes you just keep doing it because you’ve lost the ability to feel good or bad. Because we make a lot of rules but don’t follow them. Because we learn but we don’t internalize.
“And then I see them looking at their phones and then I look too and then after a few minutes my eyes hurt and it doesn’t feel good… so why do adults always do it?”
Because your eyes are young and hopeful and capable of seeing the brightest of bright colors, colors we cannot even see anymore after years of sitting at a desk or reading books or watching TV or becoming cyborgs, staring at phones. Your eyes are young and your brain is youthful and you have everything ahead of you except eventually it will be staring at phones. Or whatever that comes to mean. But it won’t be color. Not these colors, organic wholesome natural colors. LED colors. Artificial coloring.
Because I used to be able to sit in a car or a bus for hours and think and day dream and plan and focus and wonder. And now I can’t even go a minute or two without feeling for the phone.
Because deep, personal, intimate creativity has been cut off for so many of us by broad, global innovation.
Because adults have no self control. Because adults feel they must be in constant control.
Because we’re screwing it up everywhere we turn. Because a generation ruins it all for the next one. Because we are a species that denies nature and facts. Because we don’t deserve nice things and we’ve evolved to sabotage ourselves.
Because even though your question is a punch in the gut, I don’t know how we will stop.