Your phone alarm goes off, and you fling your arm out of bed, trying to hit the snooze button. Once it stops playing the terrible jingle that you wake up to every morning, you unlock the home screen and start the day the way you always do — by scrolling through social media. You read somewhere that this is a bad habit, but it hasn’t stopped you from doing it everyday.
You get your news on Twitter, catch up with your friends’ lives on Instagram and spend too much time lying in bed watching videos on TikTok.
You need to go grocery shopping, but you haven’t gotten around to it yet, so you get dressed and run down the street to grab an (admittedly overpriced) iced coffee, texting your friends and trying to remember everything that you have to do today. Even these days, it feels like life runs a mile a minute and you’re always just barely keeping up.
On the way back home, your dad calls you (he’s the only person that actually calls instead of texting) and starts lovingly nagging you about adult things: Have you applied for a credit card yet? Have you thought about opening a higher yield savings account with the bank? Have you given any more thought to the possibility of law school? You know he means well. But it feels so overwhelming to think that far into the future when you can barely see past the fast-paced chaos of the day in front of you.
You get home, open your laptop and try to focus on work for a while, continuously distracted, as always, by the constant inflow of information that is the Internet. You check Twitter intermittently. You take breaks to watch YouTube videos. You find yourself online shopping, and buy a pair of shoes that you don’t need because your debit card information is already saved on the website.
Your roommate comes in and asks if you want to get takeout, and you realize it’s dinnertime. You know ordering in is super pricey — but when you’re young and hungry and barely know how to cook, it’s just easier.
To make sure you have enough on your debit card to cover dinner, you check your checking account balance on your phone. You wince. It’s always lower than you expect. You make another instant transfer from your savings — you’re always transferring money from your savings to your checking account — and place the order. You wish you had more money in the bank, and you wish that you were managing it better, but thinking about money makes you anxious — so you don’t. Plus, the world of finance seems so complicated and foreign to you.
Dinner is delicious (which it should be, considering what you paid for it) and you eat on the couch, watching Netflix. You don’t have cable — not that you could afford it.
Before you go to bed, you spend another hour laying in bed on your phone — more Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Tinder — until your eyelids start to droop and you turn off the light. Maybe you’ll make better choices tomorrow. But, you think to yourself as you fall asleep, you’ve been saying that for a while.