Affective is a collection of fresh reads, perspectives, and thought pieces



May 24

“It is taken for granted that a beggar does not ‘earn’ his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic ‘earns’ his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar’s…

You wake up to an alarm based on an app that’s monitoring your sleep patterns. You still feel tired.

You check your feed on an app to see what’s happened since you fell asleep. It feels like the same thing repeating over and over.

You scroll through news alerts on an app that curates stories of interest from around the world. After a while it’s all too sad, and you turn it off.

You check for pictures friends have sent you on an app that makes them disappear. A couple of jokes and selfies you’ll forget by the evening.

You call your cab on an app while pouring yourself some cereal. Not enough time to make breakfast.

You check your work e-mails and calendar while you’re en route. It helps you ignore the traffic.

You constantly refresh your social media app while you’re zoning out of a meeting. There are no new notifications.

You watch videos on an app while waiting for your lunch to arrive. You’re careful not to laugh too loud at your desk.

You alter images for your presentation on an app that makes them look better. More than enough to impress the boss without actually doing anything.

You challenge a colleague to a quiz game on an app. You lose because you didn’t know the capital of Alaska.

You go outside for a cigarette and chai, which you can pay for through an app. Who keeps change, anyway?

You browse available jobs and opportunities on an app after sending off your presentation. Then you look up state capitals of America.

You message some friends on a couple of different apps. You need to figure a plan for tonight.

You get off work and go to the gym. Your device tells you how many calories you burned. After half an hour you shake it a few times to get to 500.

You order groceries and essentials you’ve been avoiding on an app, selecting a delivery slot for tomorrow. Your friends haven’t responded.

You call another cab from the app and leave for home. This time it’s harder to ignore the traffic.

You start up your dating app, you know the one. You keep swiping right and messaging people who you’ll probably never speak to.

You’re home and tired. You use the video chatting app to call your parents, who ask the usual questions. You know the right answers.

You check a couple of the apps again. One friend was nice enough to tell you he’s busy. No dates still.

You look at an app that recommends events around you. All the beautiful smiling people in the photos are intimidating.

You spend a long time scrolling through a food delivery app. Maybe two different ones. Then order the same sandwich you almost always get.

You turn on your TV, which has its own apps for entertainment. You pick a couple of movies that seem interesting.

You use your device to read the movie reviews and decide to go with the blockbuster. Within minutes you’re checking your phone again.

Your food arrives and you post a picture of it on your social media apps. Edited and enhanced, of course.

Your movie is still playing but it’s going too slow. At least your food photos got a few likes.

You pause the movie and lie down in your bed. You check your sleep stats and set the alarm for tomorrow.

It’s hard to fall asleep, so you go to the porn app. It’s nice to imagine yourself as one of the perfectly proportioned actors.

Eventually, you put the phone away and fall asleep. Soon enough, the cycle will start again.


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