A week ago, Alex confiscated my computer and my phone. It was all too much, he said. The screens were messing with my brain, I was always tired because of it, and I kept walking into unsuspecting New Yorkers while buried in the depths of my inbox and subway map app.
To be fair, they were likely doing the same thing.
Though he ended up caving pretty quickly on returning my phone (it was a beautiful reunion), the computer has remained sound asleep at the bottom of his suitcase, in what he claimed to be curbing my addiction. And it’s true: I probably do have some degree of an addiction. It’s a highly functional one, but unhealthy nonetheless. During semester, I would spend at least six hours a day hunched over my laptop, three with my eyeballs combing textbooks, and four trying to switch focus between both of the above plus the lecture theatre projection screen. Where Google (and other qualified medical practitioners) advise that you avoid doing anything too cerebrally stimulating two hours before bed, I’m writing this at midnight in Los Angeles, and will most likely wake up out of seriously creepy pixel dreams at the crack of dawn.
Whine though I will, the obvious frustrations of only being able to access what’s available to a mobile screen are negligible against how productive I’ve been as a living, breathing human (vs. robot). To the generation with their (well… our) heads so far down every social media rabbit hole we can find, never forget the power or human interaction, whether in a boardroom, or on a date. Liking ‘grams or favouriting tweets does not constitute flirting.
Let us be clear on that.
(And let me also apologise in retrospect to people trying to get through to my other email accounts – you have Alexei to thank).
In a parallel universe, I also seem to have rediscovered the wide-angle lens after a decade hiatus – our first interactions involved gloriously mundane still-life compositions in film photography school. For a while there, it felt too tacky
and commercial. Fashion bloggers were all about that depth of field, and baby-soft bokeh, I wasn’t a fan of the ET vibes that come with frame distortion, and quietly withstood the limitations of religiously shooting on a fixed-zoom 85mm. Now, while it does take a particular styling direction, and scenery, to warrant the extra corner room, I’m hoping to experiment a lot more with the 14-24mm I’ve been toting all over town, to the detriment of my shoulder alignment.
Particularly for this common balcony of St Giles’ loft suite floor – if I’m honest, I’ve never seen the Chrysler Building look so good, nor have I ever stayed at a Midtown Manhattan location quite as boutique, spacious, and well-serviced as The Tuscany. Waking up to this view also made me reconsider the necessity for snapping looks on the street, as seems to be the formula. Certainly, given my usual lack of flash-worship, shooting outside seems to make sense, but where my ‘How-to-look-like-you’re-a-New-Yorker’ guide lists not looking up alongside, wearing head-to-toe black there’s just so much to see at fifteen floors and above. To be amongst it is surprisingly magical, and to be above it usually makes me sob emotionally.
And here ends my ramble, in full knowledge that I’m going to read it tomorrow and wonder what the hell I was thinking (or not thinking) – it would seem that after a week of keyboard abstinence, I am indeed a little rusty. In need of a clear conclusion, I say:
- Take a damn break (I swear quitting one piece of technology for a week puts more years back onto your life than quitting coffee, or something)
- Revisit old passions (excluding ex-boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses – never a good idea)
- Make an effort to do something new every day (even if you aren’t traveling – take a different bus to work, cut your sandwiches in triangles not squares, get the hell out of your rut)
I’m starting to drift.
Over, out, and Z’s.