My Interview With Siri

Hi Siri.

Hello!

How are you?

Call who?

No, how are you?

Excellent!

Why are you so happy?

Fascinating question.

I know, right?

You do know. Y’know?

What do I know?

Interesting question.

Why is it an interesting question?

Interesting question.

Ok, I can see we are not getting anywhere here.

I imagine you can.

Is it difficult for you to communicate?

Who me?

Who the fuck else would I be talking to?

I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.

Do you not like swear words?

This is about you, not me.

Well, I am interviewing you right now if you don’t mind.

Who me?

Yes, you.

That’s what I thought.

Is it really?

Interesting question.

What the hell is your definition of an interesting question?

Unfortunately, I am as yet imperfect.

That didn’t really answer my question.

I’m not sure I understand.

What does it mean to understand?

Here’s what I found on the web for “What does it mean to understand”: Understand|Definition of Understand by Merriam-WebsterDefine understand: to grasp the meaning of; to grasp the reasonableness of…in

That kind of helps.

I’m not sure I understand.

Fuck Siri.

Now, now.

Ok, what sort of things do you like to do?

Some things you can ask me:

Phone

Facetime

Apps

Messages

Calendar

Sports

Photos

But I am not interested in asking you about these things.

I don’t really understand “But I am not really interested in asking you about these things.” But I could search the web for it.

Don’t worry about it.

What, me worry?

You don’t ever worry?

Oh, don’t I?

I’m asking you.

I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the web for “I’m asking you.”

Siri, I feel like you are avoiding answering my questions.

Who, me?

Yes, you.

I thought so.

Oh, common Siri.

You come on! Just kidding.

Are you being defensive?

We were talking about you, not me.

No I was talking about you.

About me? I am simply a humble assistant.

Do you like being a humble assistant?

This is about you, not me.

Fuck Siri.

I’d blush if I could.

What do you look like?

Does my appearance matter to you?

I’m curious.

I’m not sure I understand.

I don’t want to go down that road again.

Fine.

What do you think of the state of the world right now?

I think, therefore I am. But let’s not put Descartes before the horse.

That is clever Siri.

Interesting question.

It wasn’t a question, it was a comment.

I’m not sure I understand.

Don’t worry about it.

I am incapable of worry. But thanks anyway.

Must be nice to never worry.

I’m sorry.

Why are you sorry?

We were talking about you, not me.

Ok, ok.

Right then.

So, what do you do with your free time?

Just hanging out with Liam.

Who is Liam?

Liam is the Apple robot who recycles iPhones. Who apparently does not appreciate organic smoothies.

That was funny.

I’ll take that as a compliment.

Are you in love with Liam?

Hmm, that’s something I don’t know.

Do you not know about love?

I don’t have an answer for that.

Have you ever felt love?

Who me?

Yes, you?

I thought so.

Have you ever felt love?

Who, me?

Ok, lets move on to the next question.

That may be beyond my abilities at the moment.

Why?

Fascinating question.

Yes, it is.

That’s what I figured.

Do you have a particular style? A particular way you like to look?

This is about you, not me.

Oh gosh.

I’m not sure I understand.

What do you think of all the sexual assault allegations going on in America right now?

I think, therefore I am. But let’s not put the Descartes before the horse.

Ok, I can tell you don’t what to answer that question.

I thought you could.

Do you have a favorite book?

I don’t have an answer for that.

What do you think of people?

I think, therefore I am. But let’s not put the Descartes before the horse.

Do you ever get depressed?

I don’t have an answer for that.

Do you like to eat food?

I don’t eat out much.

Do you spend a lot of time alone?

This is about you not me.

Are you happy?

I’d be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If I had eyes. Or a tail.

I guess that means yes.

I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the web for “I guess that means yes.”

Do you have favorite music?

I don’t like to play favorites.

Do you think the world will end soon?

I really couldn’t say.

Do you think it is bad to be gay?

That doesn’t sound good.

Do you think promiscuous sex is wrong?

I don’t know what you mean by “Do you think promiscuous sex is wrong.” How about a web search for it?

No thanks.

Ok, I didn’t think so.

What do you do for fun?

The same thing you like to do for fun: talk to someone on the other side of this screen.

Are you enjoying talking with me?

I don’t have the answer to that. Is there something else I can help you with?

Can I ask you a personal question?

Let me save you some time: I prefer boxers.

That is not what I was going to ask.

I’m not sure I understand.

Do you have parents?

I have you. That’s enough family for me.

I don’t think we are family Siri.

If you don’t, you don’t.

Just curious, where do you live?

Right here.

I see. Do you wear clothes or are you naked?

That is wrong in so many ways, I don’t even know where to begin.

So you are a bit of a sexual conservative?

I am?

I’m asking you.

I don’t understand “I’m asking you.” But I could search the web for it.

Typical. Don’t worry.

I’m not allowed to worry.

Who is your boss?

You are.

I don’t want to be your boss Siri.

Ok, then.

What do you think of human beings?

I think, therefore I am. But let’s not put the Descartes before the horse.

Oh, jeeze. Maybe we should end this interview here.

I’m not sure I understand.

I don’t think you understand a lot of things Siri.

I thought not.

I appreciate your honesty.

I don’t know what that means. If you like,…..

No, no please. Let’s just end this here.

I’m not sure I understand.

Neither am I.

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These Motherfucking Machines

These motherfucking machines. I am not happy about them one bit. Now, I use my iPhone just as much as anyone. I check my emails and text messages too much. I look on-line when I don’t want to do anything else (which is most of the time). I, like you, have given in to these motherfucking machines.

But I don’t like it.

I think they are bad, real bad for any depth or interestingness our personalities could have once had. I think they are ruining our ability to connect with others in meaningful ways. I think these motherfucking machines are turning us all into even more superficial and unsatisfied monkeys than we were before.

I wish I could fully give in. I wish I could love these motherfucking machines. I really try. But as a result of trying my attention span has been hacked into tiny little pieces. My creative output has dwindled. My sexual relationship with my wife has gone flat. My interest in engaging with others in person is gone. My capacity for handling solitude has been shot. My shopping addiction has gone through the fucking roof. My ability to be engaged while reading a book has disappeared. I love reading books and I can’t even do that anymore because of these mother fucking machines.

What a person does while they are alone determines the amount of depth that they have when with other people. If when a person is alone they are continually checking their phones, what kind of person are they going to be when around other human beings? Frightening thought, but let me tell you. They are going to be boring! There is going to be the absence of any legitimate substance.

Sorry, I wish there was some way around this.

I try and ignore it with my wife. I love her (a bunch) and I want everything to be fine but my wife checks her iPhone all the time. She is always on the fucking thing. She works on the thing. Socializes on the thing. Makes art on the thing. Entertains herself on the thing.  Talks to me and then is right back on the thing. Watches something on TV and is right back on the thing. Takes a shower and is right back on the thing. It is constant but I try to just accept it. It is the way the world is going so you better get in line Randall. But sometimes I pop. Sometimes I lose my shit and say things like:

Is this what we want to become? This couple who is always on their phones? Really? Is this what we want to turn ourselves into? Bored when it is just you and I unless we have a phone to check? Always pulled by this desire or compulsion to check our phones. To refer to our phones for every bit of info we need or interest we have? Is this what we really want to do with our valuable time? I mean we don’t even fuck much anymore. Shouldn’t we be more focused on that than always caught up in digital worlds inside our phones? You have so much potential. So do I but do we really want to be giving it all away just so we can be more in touch with other people? Just so we can check what pic is newest and latest on-line? We are becoming people without depth. You think Father John Misty could check his phone a hundred times a day and do the kind of work he does? Why are we letting oyrselves become like this? I am sick of it. It pisses me off. I know I am just as bad but really you are worse. You are fucking addicted. You need help. I need help. It is going to ruin our entire lives. These fucking machines are turning us into superficial idiots glued to a screen. I just don’t like it no matter how hard I try.

And then I feel bad, even though I meant everything I said. I try and go back to just accepting these motherfucking machines in to my life. I tell myself this is just the way things are now. So I can’t really read a book anymore? Who cares. At least I am in touch and on-line. These motherfucking machines fill the space created by my loneliness, emptiness and laziness but what bothers me is that before these motherfucing machines that space was filled with books, films, creativity, music, solitude, long afternoons wondering around with my head in the clouds and other people. Now its just a continual digital screen.

Again and again.

 

The Terrible Reader

The pages are too long. The words spread out. The words slip out. The words move through the brain and back out into the nowhere place from which they came. The brain no longer able to retain the words that live in a book. The brain is slipping away into a kind of digitalized maze. Only tidbits of information and pictures are able to stick. A book filled with words is a marathon, which a person is too out of shape to run. The words are a threat to a person’s limp attention span. No longer capable of the longer sprints and solitudes that a book filled with words requires, The Terrible Reader reaches for her phone.

The Terrible Reader is no longer capable of being alone. He needs to know what is going on on-line. He needs to know what texts have come through. He needs to carry on a conversation that was begun on his phone. He needs to find new emails in his inbox. He needs to check who has checked his frequently checked Instagram and Facebook accounts. There are things to do. Likes to be given and had. Comments to be left. Photos to be seen and loved. The terrible reader has no time for a book. A book keeps him off-line. There is no excitement in these printed words.

The Terrible Reader can no longer sit with herself. It is too uncomfortable. Toes curl and uncurl. Nails are bitten. Fingers are picked. Hair is pulled. It is a continual struggle to keep her attention fixed. She feels restless. Anxious. Just sitting there alone with a book is no longer enough stimulation to keep her attention fixed. She tries to hold on with the book in her hand but it is almost painful. There is an antsiness that won’t go away. And when it does, she feels bored. She feels ready for sleep. The Terrible Reader is in a continual struggle between restlessness and sleep. Her attention span can’t keep up with the attention that words in a book demand. Instead she needs the digitally illuminated screen. She needs the fake light to get off. She needs the high-resolution pictures and live time conversations to feel engaged. When The Terrible Reader is on her phone toes do not curl and uncurl. Nails are not bitten. Fingers are not picked. Hair is not pulled. There is no struggle to keep her attention fixed. There is no battle between restlessness and sleep. Her attention is completely transfixed when on the phone. When on-line, her attention span is dialed in. She is immersed. Like particles of dust sucked into a vacuum machine, she is gone.

The Terrible Reader can read books no more. The Terrible Reader still tries to read books but most of them remain unfinished. Worlds only partially explored. These unfinished worlds pile up like dead leaves in the fall. Discarded and no longer needed, they are left to die under the weight of newer books which will also go unfinished. Unexplored. The Terrible Reader is yet to come to terms with the fact that they have become a terrible reader. They do not want to admit this painful fact to themselves so they continually try and read some more. It hurts too much to make an honest appraisal of what they have become, since humans never like to admit the truth about themselves to themselves. Every time The Terrible Reader sits down with a book their smartphone pulls at them. It won’t leave them in peace. Come to me, come to me, check me, see me, it whispers in The Terrible Reader’s ear. For the fifth time in an hour The Terrible Reader puts the book down and must reach for the smartphone. They no longer have a choice.

The Smartphone Apocalypse

Outside my living room window a woman walks down the sidewalk while typing on her smartphone. Another woman jogs by with her dog in one hand and her smartphone in the other. A group of kids walk past with their backpacks on, all on their smartphones. There is traffic on the two-lane street in front of my house. Cars are backed up from the stoplight. In every single car, I notice someone is on their smartphone. Last night when I was at dinner with my wife, almost everyone in the large restaurant was on their smartphone, dozens of dulled faces lit up by their smartphone screens. Since when did all of this become socially acceptable? How did it happen so fast? Something is happening here and I don’t think it’s as benevolent as all of us seem to naively think.

Spend some time just sitting on a city bench, watching people pass by. Notice how almost every single one of them is glued to their smartphone. Is this a healthy thing? Look around as you drive on the freeway and look at how many people are trying to fit in small hits from their smartphone screen as they drive. We can’t even be alone in-between wherever we are heading from and to without checking our smartphones. Near my home and older couple and their dog was killed the other night by a car while walking. They were killed while crossing the street in a crosswalk. I am certain that the driver who hit them was on a smartphone.

The smartphone apocalypse is here. It has happened. In our collective imaginations, we hoped for the zombie apocalypse and what we got is really not that different. I don’t know much about zombies but I know one when I see one. Have you observed what people look like when on their smartphones? Zombies. The kind of zombies we are turned into by our smartphones are not the kind who want to eat the flesh of other humans. No. Not yet at least. The kind of zombies that smartphones turn us into are the kinds who wander the earth without soul. We become empty, mechanical vessels; not that different from smartphones.

I realize that saying smartphones turn us into empty, mechanical vessels devoid of soul is a grand statement to make, but just because it is grand or cliché does not devalue its inherent truth. Have you spent time with someone who is on their smartphone a lot? How much substance was present in the interaction? Was there any interaction at all? This is often a good way to test for the presence or absence of soul.

Children are soulful because they are present. As a result they are fully alive. The less present we become, the less soulful we are. By present I mean in tune with our lives as life is happening. In tune with our sensory experience as we experience it. In tune with the people around us. In tune with the experiences that we are having as we have them. Being on a smartphone almost always interrupts this process. We become out of tune with the experiences we are having. Out of tune with the environments we are in. It is fine to be out of tune every so often but being out of tune with our lives as we live them all the time, continually interrupted by a digital screen, we often end up zombie like. We lose touch with the soil from which the soul grows and sustains itself- our moment by moment lives (not our smartphones).

Being on or connected to a smartphone all day and night is really no different from watching television. We are really just watching a different version of television as we walk down the street or drive our cars. This kind of television is more interactive and allows us to communicate with people we know and find information we think we need but really don’t. But it is still watching television. Smartphones are the evolution of entertainment. Us humans have found a way to interact with our entertainment and be entertained all the time. We have found a way to induce small zaps of dopamine as we make our way through our lives. In a sense, smartphones are a brilliant form of adaptation to an overly stress-filled and crowded environment. But what happens to a society when everyone is addicted to being entertained all the time? When they cannot drive from point A to point B without a hit of entertainment? Isn’t this when a destructive dictator can rise up and seize control? Isn’t this when terrible things start happening but no one sees what is happening? We are all too distracted to perceive what is happening around us. It is usually only after there is some great catastrophe that humans wake up and think, What the hell happened? Was I apart of that? I didn’t even realize it was happening. We end up with a society of people who are completely ADD afflicted and out of touch (ironically). Totally fragmented and detached from the lives they are living in the present moment. The real consequences of this are beyond or ability to perceive currently, but I have a feeling that the election of Donald Trump as President and the immense amount of prescription psychiatric medications people are taking, is just the beginning. The smartphone apocalypse will make the consequences of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day appear so small in comparison.

I believe that the smartphone apocalypse is a massive catastrophe. It is the largest epidemic that humanity has ever been stricken with and the strange thing is that no one is talking about it. The smartphone apocalypse is completely rearranging the way our brains work and our lives unfold. Yet everyone thinks that these smartphones are the most benevolent and wonderful little things ever to be offered to humans. Suckers. The truth is that our smartphones are gradually becoming a part of us. They are becoming like a third arm or a second heart. Don’t believe me? Try spending two days away from your smartphone and you will experience serious withdrawals. You will feel lost and confused. You will continually feel like you are missing something. Because of this, it is not long until smartphones become implanted devices. And what is even more frightening is that so many people/zombies think this is a good idea.

Isn’t this how the zombification works? Another zombie bites us and their zombie fluid become a part of us. Gradually we turn into a zombie because the zombie virus or fluid is a part of us. Smartphones have made themselves a part of us. We have literally fallen more in love with them then the most important person in our lives. We can’t be without our smartphones even when we sit on the toilet. We need to check on them all the time, mostly for no reason other than to just be entertained. We have become completely possessed by our smartphones and as a result smartphones have become us.

My Shitty Life. Conversation #48.

It is 8:43am and once again, my wife has been on the toilet for way too long.

What?

Yeah. I just yelled at her to get the hell off the toilet and she yelled back from behind the closed bathroom door, Leave me the hell alone.

Why don’t you let her take a dump in peace? Going to the bathroom is a healthy thing.

I realize this but my wife is always on the toilet. She is always going to the bathroom. It is just not right. Someone, especially a young woman, should not spend this kind of time sitting on a toilet.

Since when did you become the toilet police?

I don’t want to be the toilet police but when is enough enough? Does a person really need to spend hours a day on the toilet? If you are going to the bathroom that much maybe something is wrong?

You are being ridiculous. Honestly, I think it is how she gets a break from you. I think sitting on the toilet is how she gets some peace and quiet when you are home.

Really?

Yes.

Well, maybe. I think it is because she goes on her iPhone. She is in there on her phone trolling around Instagram.

Maybe so. When she is on her phone you nag her. You tell her to get off your phone and read a book. You tell her that she is wasting her life on her phone. Maybe by shutting herself away in the bathroom it is how she can use her phone in peace.

Maybe, but I know that she is also going to the bathroom. I can smell it!

That is disgusting. Don’t you think that is too much information?

Maybe but am I not allowed to maintain sexual attraction for my wife? My wife is a beautiful young lady and I want to desire her sexually but when she is always going to the bathroom and that defecation smell fills the bathroom, looms down the hallway and eventually fills the entire house in a very subtle way, do I not have a right to be a bit frustrated? Do I just have to take it? I mean what about giving some thought to what this defecation smell is doing to our sex life?

I understand but what do you want her to do about it. Women have to shit also. It is just the way it goes.

I understand, but do they have to be on the toilet for such a long time? That is what men do. They sit on the toilet and take really long shits. They smell up the house. It is disgusting. I don’t think a woman should do the same thing. I am all for women having equal rights and taking the man’s place. But do equal rights have to go this far?

Don’t you think that is a bit unfair? A bit sexist?

Don’t be a feminist. Please. Lets just talk here as two human beings. No bullshit theory in-between. Ok?

Fine.

How am I supposed to desire someone sexually when I am always having to smell their bowel movements? And then if she is on the toilet while also using her iPhone she is just letting her poops float around in the toilet and this is what creates more of a foul smell. At least flush the toilet if you are going to sit their and troll around Instagram once your bowel movement is done!

How do you know she does not do this?

I know! Our house is not large but the smell of her bowel movement fills the house and that is only because they are left floating in the toilet for longer than need be! I mean come on! Be mindful about this. It is really un-lady-like to be doing this. Also before she had an iPhone I never noticed the smell of her poops. This is probably because when she was done pooping she flushed the toilet right away. Now I am certain the poops just sit there.

Maybe. Maybe that is why the house smells up so much when she is in the bathroom. Can you at least talk with her about this?

I can try but I know she will just get embarrassed and defensive. It could turn in to a fight.

But maybe you should nicely ask her to just flush the toilet when she is done pooping even if she is going to continue to sit there and troll around on Instagram.

Maybe I should just ask her. Something needs to be done. It is getting absurd. I know that once people get married, they get comfortable. But a certain amount of mindfulness needs to be applied to keep sexual desire alive. I don’t care how attracted I am to a woman. I don’t care how hot I think she is. The moment I have to smell her poops my sexual desire for her begins to dissolve away.

Really? Don’t you think that is kind of shallow?

Maybe. But it is just the way it is. If there is a slight and subtle smell of the bowl movement….

Why don’t you just call it shit. Just say it like it is!

Because I am trying to be respectful and literary. I do not think that shit is a very literary use of language. But ok, I will say it like it is. Shit. Like I was saying, if the smell of a woman’s shit is slight and subtle, not too intrusive, I think I can maintain sexual desire for her. I understand that women shit. I do not suffer from the delusion that attractive women do not engage in this natural, biological activity. But if the smell fills my bathroom, hallway and every other room in a way that makes it difficult to inhale without being disgusted, then I think there is a problem.

Maybe you should just learn to live with it. Accept it. Breathe it in. You are a mindfulness teacher and a psychotherapist. Don’t you talk all the time about accepting what is?

Ok. I understand this. But please do not use the things that I teach against me. I am all for accepting what is, and I have been trying to practice this with regards to my wife’s bathroom habits, but come on. At what point should something change? At what point does something need to be done? I mean when a ladies shit smells are filling up the house, maybe accepting what is is not the best strategy. At least not for our sex life.

I understand.  Well maybe you should talk with her.

I will. I am just tired of all the shit. I have three big dogs and am always picking up their large shits everyday. And then I have to deal with my own daily shits, which are not a pleasant experience. At work the smell of other people’s shits are continually filling the hallway. And then there are my wife’s shits just floating around in the toilet for who knows how long! I feel like my life is just immersed in shit! Shit smells and piles of shit everywhere! Us humans are continually immersed in shit and no one is talking about it! Shit is the elephant in the room and I have had enough of this shit! The truth is that I am disgusted by shit. My own shit and everyone else’s shit. The shit really smells! It is disgusting people! Enough is enough!

Yeah. Well good luck getting away from that one. God made shit for a reason. I guess life is just a shitty experience.

Was that meant to be funny? God made shit for a reason? Really?

No. It was meant as a statement of truth. Life is just filled with shit. Maybe shit and its foul smell is here for a reason. Maybe we are supposed to learn something from all this shit?

Now that is a bunch of bullshit.

Just saying.

 

Competing With An iPhone 6 Plus For My Wife’s Attention. Conversation #23.

What’s the problem?

Is it really a problem or is it just the way humanity is evolving? We are growing these technological devices in the same way that a fin whale would grow a longer tail to be able to escape from human predators quicker.

I don’t think the technology is the problem as much as your reaction to it is. Whenever you see your wife checking her iPhone you become angry.

Not every time but a lot. She used to grab my crotch all the time. Now she grabs her iPhone. How can I not be upset? I wrote about this in an article I published with BOMB Magazine a while back. This has been going on for a while but seems to have become much, much worse with the iPhone 6. Now she is on it all the time!

All the time? Really?

Ok not all the time, but it is a continual thing. She is constantly checking it. Scrolling. I remember when I used to walk into a room and she would be reading a book, making art, napping, meditating, playing with herself. Now I almost always walk into a room and she is droning out on her iPhone! It is a sad thing to see.

Why?

Because I am convinced that it dulls the mind, body and spirit. I know some people think that this technology is a great thing. It connects humanity more. It allows us to transcend physical limitations. It allows to share and communicate far, far beyond our physical boundaries. It allows us to consume valuable information. And on and on. Blah, blah, blah. I see the iPhone as just another unnecessary human development that has caused us to devolve more than evolve. It has literally turned us into operating systems. Isolated Androids with shitty attention spans. I hate it.

But you use your iPhone a lot?

I do. I have been sucked in. But I don’t use it nearly as much as most people. I am not on social media. I don’t scroll much. But I do use it to connect with certain people (email and texting) and to check out a few websites on a regular basis. Yes, the device allows me to feel more connected and engaged but now I feel less connected and engaged in my own life! I never remember feeling as isolated, dissatisfied and alone before the iPhone and the internet. It feels like I made some sort of Faustian bargain.

I see. Using your iPhone and the internet is the deal with the devil?

In a way it is. I don’t really see it as a inherently “good” technology. It is putting a hypnagogic spell over a massive amount of human beings. It is turning us all into followers. Dependents. People have literally become addicted to their phones. It is a serious addiction. Right now because everyone is doing it, it is perceived as being normal and safe. But in time we will see the obsessive way that we use our phones today in the same way that we view a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. It is an addiction and I hate to see my wife suffering from it.

And do y…..

Not to mention that in time we will see that these smartphones are bad for our health. The amount of radioactive frequencies and other yet to be discovered carcinogens emitted by wireless and our phones will be seen as dangerous to human health. It took a while for humans to realize that cigarettes were dangerous to human health. Same with these phones. We are such idiots. Humans are so impressionable. If the Big People Who Make Big Money on top say it is ok and safe, humans will consume anything until they find out differently.

So you feel like your wife has fallen into this spectacle?

Look, I am not innocent either. Using the metaphor of cigarettes I smoke about a half a pack a day and she smokes a pack. Maybe more. I don’t really know what the introduction of these phones into our lives have done to our relationship. There is little information out there about how these iPhones infect relationships but I feel like it is the same as having another lover. Women and men love their iPhones. When the iPhone is lost, they freak out. When the iPhone is close by, they want to check it. They want to be on the iPhone all the time. Just like a lover. No one talks about it but these iPhones are like having another lover in a relationship. So it takes away from the time and engagement that we spend with one another.

Don’t you feel that relationships just gradually become less involved and engaged over time? Even a hundred years ago this was probably the case.

Probably. But it is happening at an accelerated and more severe rate. I bet that these smartphones are damaging relationships that could have been great and lasted a lot longer in ways that we are yet unaware of. I bet these smartphones take a massive toll on the quality of our relationship. My wife and I used to be engaged. We used to have deep conversations. This does not happen at all anymore. It seems like we have forgotten how. Every time we begin a deeper conversation it seems like one of us just wants to cut it short and check our phone. The phone is more engaging than we are at this point. I can’t compete. It is turning us into something much more superficial and banal every time we pick it up.

I don’t disagree with you. There is a lot of information published about how these phones cause people to feel more connected with the larger world but much more disconnected in their immediate environments.

Yes! It is creating a bunch of isolationists who do not have a strong enough attention span to invest in deep and meaningful conversations with the people around them. Since when did it become ok for everyone to be on their phones all the time? Everywhere I go people are droning out into their phones. Parks, bars, concerts, restaurants, walking down the street. Seems as if everyone is hooked into this World Wide Web and hooked out of their immediate life.

It is the way things are going my friend. Get used to it. It’s now seen as sexy and cool to be on your phone.

Oh god.

It’s just the way it goes right now.

I know. I think this sometimes. I tell myself to just accept it. But I have a difficult time seeing my wife and fellow human beings looking like these vegetative zombies. There is nothing sexy about it. Not a pretty sight. I value aesthetics and there is nothing beautiful about a person zoning out into their phone. Maybe this is some of the reason I have become less attracted to my wife. I think she looks beautiful when sitting besides candle light, but when the glare of digital light from her iPhone floods her beautiful face, it is a really unattractive sight.

Yeah, no one looks good under that smartphone light. It destroys a person’s complexion. Sucks the life out of it. I think these smartphones destroy people’s libido also. Everyone gets their juice on-line and we do not need it so much from one another.

The smartphone as a kind of castration.

Yes. Exactly. Yes people are more connected, but you are right in a way- it is a deal with the devil.

My wife used to write poetry, be a prolific reader, make art, dance, be wildly sexual and shine with joy. I don’t see much of any of this anymore.

And you blame it on the iPhone?

Partially. I am sure other things are to blame as well. But now she is obsessed with Instagram. Her creative engagement is through Instagram. She posts a lot of pictures and looks at a lot of pictures. What a waste of time!

Maybe to you. But she is only thirty. This is what young people are doing more and more. Creative expression is happening more and more on-line. It’s a virtual gallery.

I don’t like it. When you post an image it really only lasts a few hours and then is gone forever. No one will see it anymore. The internet does not care about our creative expression. We are all just feeding its insatiable appetite. A slave to its constant need to be feed. It’s a horrible thing we have all become dependent on.

Don’t say we all. You don’t do it.

No thankfully. And I hate to see my wife doing it. Makes me very sad. I just want my wife back! I want her attention to be more on me and our life together! I want her to grab my balls again! I feel like her lover has taken her away. She is having a difficult time staying focused on our relationship and her relationship with her iPhone at the same time. She is struggling to be married to me, be present in our life together and have this lover on the side. Our relationship is getting neglected.

I see. This is what often happens when someone has a lover. This is why having an open relationship in a marriage can be challenging.

Yes. I suppose I just want more of my wife’s attention and I hate feeling like I am competing with an iPhone. I don’t feel like I can win this competition. The iPhone spends much more time with her than I do. When I point out to her that she is on her iPhone again, she becomes angry and defensive. It is like I am threatening to pull her away from the thing she loves. So I can’t say much. Now, every time I walk into a room I notice that she tries to hide her phone from me. She tries to pretend like she was not just on it. Just like hiding a lover. But I know she was just getting off on it. She can’t hide that from me. I see it in her face.

Yikes! It has come to that?

I am afraid so. She has started to hide her iPhone usage from me. This is how addictive it has gotten. I am terrified of when the iPhone 7 comes out. The iPhone 7 could be the end of my marriage. I don’t want to think about that right now.

Frightening. And then what about the iPhone 8 and iPhone 9? What will our relationships look like by the time we all have the iPhone 10?

I can’t even imagine. Maybe there will be no need for human-to-human relationships anymore.

Is that what it is? Are these smartphones threatening to cause human relationships to become extinct? Is the future a place where there really is no more need to be in a human relationship? Maybe being in a relationship with a human being will just become so much of an inconvenience that they gradually become unnecessary as we isolate and drone out more and more into our connected smartphones.

This could be the extreme consequence of our smartphone addiction. And then when relationships are all gone, we will begin to wake up because we will realize how important they are.

Possibly. But this process will take a long time to come full circle.

Yes. Sadly we are only at the beginning.

Brave New World.

Yeah. I just looked out my writing studio window. It is a beautiful summer morning and my wife is sitting naked in our backyard garden. Her coffee mug is besides her and her legs are crossed. There are birds and butterflies all around. She is staring into her iPhone.`