Welcome to Great Smushing

Day 632: When My mother-in-law shouted my daughter’s name three times, I ran from a Zoom meeting in the dining room and quickly realized that my 12-month-old might be dying. Her breathing was weak, her body was limp, and her eyes were rolled to the back of her head. “Or call 911!” That was the loudest I yelled in the six months since we lived in my husband’s house. Holding her under my arm, my mind exploded in a dozen directions: Keep her alive. Also, Does she have Covid? Also, an image from season six of Sopranosone of the 4 billion programs we’ve started as of March 2020: Does she look? like Christopher Moltisanti did after his Escalade rolled down the hill? And after that, Damn, am I still in a meeting? Are my camera and microphone still on?

When my daughter needed me most to be her father, I was everywhere and everywhere, everyone and no one.

Two years after this pandemic, we’re having trouble with what my confused brain can only come up with called The Great Smushing. This non-peer-reviewed term refers to the collapse and leveling of our personalities, responsibilities, and selves, fueled by the frictionless Everything Device and greatly accelerated by Covid. Our identities and roles as parents, children, friends, colleagues, lovers, carers, etc. have been reduced to a single being. Many of us still huddled and fidgeted in the same room, Ignoring, Zooming in, emailing, betting, dating, trolling, therapy, grieving, giggling, sobbing, screaming with strangers, and identified with an immobile 200,000 ton container ship, all on the same small screen day in and day out, with fewer places in the outside world where we can safely reach out, seek, challenge, lose ourselves or be whatever who at a time. In my experience, symptoms of hot flashes include confusion, disorganization, despair, and inertia. All jobs and all playing on the screen all day makes Jack a dull boy.

Fortunately, the 911 operator did not appear to experience any side effects and acted with authority. She suggested that I turn the baby upside down. As soon as I did, her eyes met mine in horror again, and she began to cry. A minute later, my wife and I got into the ambulance to find out what just happened, and if it could happen again. As my dazed baby lay on the stretcher, my mind reeled with scattered, embarrassing, hazy thoughts: Will she be fine? How did I fail her so completely? Is there Wi-Fi in the ER?

“You have one “Mark Zuckerberg, 25, told famous journalist David Kirkpatrick in 2009.” The days when you have a different image to friends or colleagues at work and to other people you know will probably end pretty quickly. ” And then his ethics speaker: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” Stick to your Oculus blind people and ignore the fact that there may have been a time when Facebook (now Meta) showed multiple identities or one lack of integrity. Zuckerberg’s prophecy has been thoroughly fulfilled.

Smusing started long before 2009 – it probably started with the advent of personal computers and being able to open multiple windows at the same time – but during the 2010s our lives became immeasurable. trouble. The percentage of Americans who own a smartphone has increased from about 35% to 85% in the decade. The percentage of our lives that we compress into our smartphones has increased by the same rate. The average American adult now spends more than 9 hours a day sitting in front of a screen, with more than half of our waking lives focused on an Apple, Google or Microsoft device.

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