The Cell Cycle: Development of a Productive Life

Funny story written by Joe Quezada

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Life begins when the alarm of my fully charged cell phone shouts, "Hit snooze, hit snooze! Just five more minutes. Sleeping five more minutes won't hurt anyone. Trust me, I'll wake you up again."

Five minutes later, my cell phone, Ringo, screams, "It's time, time to open your eyes and do something productive. Get up, get dressed, get ready now!"

Ringo is my best friend. He reminds me to do the essential tasks of the day: "Before even opening your eyes completely or stepping out of your bed, check your email. What stores have special offers and discounts this weekend? Are you going shopping this weekend? Why wait if you can do it today? Click the link and buy online!"

My friend keeps me on my bed: "Where are you going now? You forgot to check Facebook! You are not getting out of this bed until you check how many notifications you have. They sure are essential to keep you up-to-date about the real world and your 100,000 close friends! Don't be rude. Wish a happy birthday to your Facebook friend-that friend to whom you never say hello when you see him on the street."

My friend Ringo says, "Take a Snapchat and start the story of your day now! Why don't you take a picture of your pretty, sleepy, swollen face? Everyone will only see it for a couple of seconds. Unless they screenshot it and upload it to Facebook."

Ringo accompanies me to the bathroom-what a true friend-and keeps me entertained: "Lets read the news, no, no, no…why don't we relax by playing Candy Crush? It's not like you are going to stress out because you might run out of lives. Just calm down, wait for 29:59 minutes, and you'll get another life."

My mom's voice says, "What are you doing? Why is it taking you so long? Did you get stuck in the toilet? Or are your hands glued to your cell phone again?"

My cell phone rejoices, "Play music with my speakers and pretend you didn't hear your mom. Ten more seconds and you'll get an extra life. Motivation is what you need to pass Level 399. Keep on working!"

It's just nine in the morning and my cell phone complains, "I feel something is missing. I need energy! My battery is running out, I only have 90% left. Charge me soon or I might die."
Ringo jingles as I unplug him from his charger, "Ting ting…let's leave home and have a productive day everywhere, especially at school. What can be better than a continuous learning process? My plan is to develop your multitasking skills: learn to pretend you are in class while you read Facebook newsfeed, admire Instagram pictures, play Fruit Ninja, and tweet how boring your class is. All at the same time. Impressive, right?"

My cell phone continuously asks for attention, "Hey, hey! I'm here! You just got 100 emails, 300 texts, 200 Facebook messages, 15 missed calls, and 10 Facebook friend requests. What were you doing without me? Life revolves around your virtual friends and me. Interaction with real people is not important anymore."

Lunch with my friends-sorry, with their cell phones-is speechless. Literally speechless. It's easier to receive a message from them than hear their voices. My cell phone comforts me, "This is what I call quality time with friends."

My cell phone is ready to continue the multitasking training during my afternoon physics class: "Now let's learn how to text without taking a look at the screen. You'll become an expert: 1340 characters per minute is our goal."

I don't understand why my teacher gently asks me to put Ringo away. He is such a great mental enabler: "I can be your personalized calculator. You don't have to worry anymore about adding difficult quantities, not even 5+1."

Before even stepping out of my class, I try to reach my cellphone from a pocket inside my backpack: "No, no! Remember, you just put me inside your pants pocket! The high-frequency waves of notifications were what kept you awake the whole class."

As I walk outside my class to the parking lot, I have a deep conversation with Ringo: "Don't you see, talking to people is tedious and boring. What's the problem with talking through your phone, or even through FaceTime? It's basically the same interaction, except you get to see your friends through an HD camera. It's even better than in real life!"

I notice a codependence phenomenon on my way to the parking lot. My cell phone explains it to me, "Earphones are like an umbilical cord between a mom and a fetus. The connection between you and me is now physical. People are plugged to devices like me to avoid interactions with other people."

Ringo keeps giving advice, "You don't have to learn the way back to your home. Use my GPS in case you get lost. That's what friends are for, right? To help you in your moments of stress and confusion."

As I get home, my phone agonizes, "Please, charge me again! My electric pulses will stop beating, and I won't be able to help you procrastinate. You have a lot of homework, and no time to waste."

I'm on my way to charge Ringo, but he suffers a painful death. The blackness of his screen provokes a deep sadness. It feels as if my pulse went missing. It's getting harder to breathe-I might even faint. However, I'm able to reach my savior: Ringo's charger.

I'm about to experience the greatest relief in my life. Ringo resuscitates and comes back from the afterlife. His bright screen refreshes and says, "Charging, charging… 1%. But go ahead, reply to the messages I received in the afterlife. Your friends were quite insistent."
Mom calls me-through my cell phone, of course-"Why didn't you answer your phone? Get down here now! Dinner is ready."

I sit down at the table as I feel the anxiety running through my veins. I know Ringo is talking to me because I can see the light going on and off. I won't be able to survive thirty minutes without my friend. Although my parents are talking to me, I cannot take out of my head that my friends are calling me through my phone.

Dinner and all the mental work of the day make me tired. "Why don't you take a nap? I'll wake you up!" says Ringo's wheedling voice.

His voice is always there, "You cannot escape from me, deal with it. I'm part of you now. I'm the source of your power. I'm the motor of your mental development. What would you do without me?"

I lie down to sleep, and in my dream Ringo keeps repeating, "I'm not just a trend. I'm not just a friend. I'm your life."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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