May 28th, 2010.
What if I told you, that with every new phone..Oh, my bad. With every new smartphone, there is a story bound to the owner. Why am I talking about this? What is this about? Well, I was blessed with the opportunity to work for an organization that called themselves WhatsApp.
What’s up with that? With a name like that, I don’t think they aren’t going to get that far.
But, see, my role isn’t exactly colloquial knowledge. I can’t provide a formal name for you, otherwise, I would be in some deep trouble. What I can provide is a description. It’s up to you entirely to attempt to understand or even believe any trace of this document. With each new person that installs this application, we have to monitor them. Standard practice, I was told.
I got assigned this pre-adolescent named, well, their name isn’t exactly important, but for identification purposes, we’ll call them, Robin. I found it bizarre how a pre-adolescent was even allowed to possess such an item. Probably due to the nostalgic feeling of witnessing the advancement of technology alongside my growth as a human I didn’t question it however.
My tongue was glued to the roof of my mouth. I didn’t express any opinion whatsoever in my workplace. I was just there. To me, being able to monitor Robin, was like watching the birth of a mere child, being thrown into the depth of the cyber society. But, this role also granted me a significant amount of power. Almost insurmountable. I had the ability to directly edit their messages, add and delete contacts, even being able to delete her mere existence. To come to terms with that, you could literally re-wire a person’s life with the right tools. Having a front-row seat to Robin’s life, was interesting. Intriguing. Tempting. All too tempting.
Too much information was never too much, it was always too little. I didn’t question how she managed to only talk to a few people for such a long period of time. I wanted to know every detail regarding her falling-outs and her new relationships.The more I looked, the more I wanted to get involved. Desperation became apparent in my actions. Asking to stay overtime to indulge myself in more work, when in reality, it was to satisfy the undying curiosity that burned within my bowels to finishing watching them grow.
..Watching them grow into a spiral of emotions and psychological damage. Robin got herself involved in some rather questionable acts, but I didn’t judge. I merely watched. One of these questionable acts was constant contemplation of suicide. I didn’t judge.
But maybe I should have. Maybe I should have utilized my power to actually contact her.
Maybe. Maybe even convince her otherwise. Life’s full of maybes.
Having a front-row seat to a human’s death isn’t appealing.
Maybe I shouldn’t have written this.
Behind a screen [Short Story Competition Entry]
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