Hi world. So, my name is Alex. I’ve was in prison for 24 years. I can’t say the name of the place because it’s top secret information but I was there since 1990. I would prefer not to say why I was there, so, I think that’s enough info on me, we can move on to what really has me writing this short message.
Around six months ago I was offered a proposal by the prison council. I was one year from freedom (my sentence was 25 years) and they said I could wait or I could have what they called “freedom under certain circumstances”. I obviously didn’t even hear what the circumstances were. I chose freedom.
Now, almost six months after I made that decision I realize my huge mistake. I would prefer 2 more years in prison than live like I am living right now. No, not 2 years, even 25 more!
My freedom right now (and for 25 more years) consists in a tight schedule and strict rules. I have a smartphone that I have to have within a foot from me at all times. It is synchronized somehow to my brain with a chip and if I try to break free from the rules I start having headaches, and if I do it too much I will die.
I have to check my Facebook every 40 minutes, my Instagram account every hour, my twitter twice a day at the least. I have to answer every phone call I receive. And every what’s app I receive has to be answered within 10 minutes at the latest (yesterday I took 12 minutes and had a headache all day…). Every beautiful landscape, every plate I’m served in a restaurant, every nice moment has to be either “selfied” or at least pictured and shared anywhere (they let me choose on this…). Every day I have to consecrate 2 hours of my day to YouTube and 1 hour more to just surf the internet. Then, I always have to have my headphones in my ears and with music at all times, except when sleeping. If I want to talk to someone I can only lower the volume. If I receive any notice either by what’s app or a phone call during the night I have to answer it. And, last but not least, I have to dedicate 2 hours every day to watching a series; I got the license of choosing which one.
Now, as you can see, this life is miserable. I hate my cellphone because it’s become my prison-guard and it’s with me all day! I thought the circumstances that they were going to impose on my “freedom” would be something easier to manage but now I see how those circumstances have taken my freedom.
World, I can’t blame you for what you’re living. When I first received the 4×2 inches plastic device I loved it, it has a certain lure and charm that just makes you want to see it more, listen to it more, and be with it more. But, I wanted to write to you because I’ve come to accept that, 25 years more in prison and then going out as a free man would be better than living this life with my cellphone. In the end it’s a life that seems free but it’s not. I would say it’s a life with your own prison of “freedom”…
Photo credit: Robert Occhialini