Today I welcome author Noah Nichols to my blog. Here is an excerpt from his book, No Net, released in January 2016.
APP 1 – Truths Of The Past
To her, the glow of the screen was intoxicating. Undeniably addicted, she was glued to her phone almost like an infant would be to its mother’s breast. Anyone who became attached to their device of choice simply couldn’t detach the way a child could. It was a phenomenon that truly overtook the lives of the vast majority.
Twenty-eight-year-old Scott Hadaway was presently being ignored by his mildly younger wife, Gwen, who was comfortably tucked in bed, blissfully unaware of anything in three-dimensional space. Digitally, mentally, physically, and spiritually, her entire being belonged to the black mirror.
“I just don’t understand how you constantly have to have that thing right up to your face,” he said angrily.
Gwen shot him an annoyed look. “That thing? It’s called a DroPho MaxX, babe. And besides, you should know by now that it’s the only way I can really decompress from a soul-crushing day at work.”
“So you’d rather decompress in the social media realm than with me, your husband?”
“You’re creating a confrontation for no reason and I don’t really see why, to be honest.”
“That’s the problem!” he yelled. “You don’t see it, but I feel it. I feel it every single day and night, and I have for years now. It’s suffocating to see someone you care about suffocate themselves.”
Gwen’s body language changed from relaxed to defensive. “What are you even talking about right now? I’m not suffocating myself at all; I check my messages and talk to friends online. It’s a normal thing people do!”
Scott chose his next words carefully. “The normal thing people used to do back in the day—like my dad always goes on about—consisted of actually talking to each other and finding simple joy in that. They didn’t complain in a status update about something uneventful that no one really gives a shit about, not excluding your so-called friends.”
“Yeah, I know; your dad never stops talking about ‘back in the day.’”
“At least my dad’s grounded in reality! He knows what it was like to live a real life and be content with less rather than discontent with more!”
Choosing to sidestep her husband’s defense of his father altogether, Gwen elected to dispense a little bit of wit: “Scott, listen to me. I am sure my friends really do want to know if I thought a movie was terrible or if my meal at a particular restaurant was mediocre. Those are both life-altering situations, all right?” she said sarcastically.
“I fucking hate when you’re like this,” he said, feeling helpless.
“Hey, you’re the one that got on my ass about absolutely nothing! Are we going to do this every night from here on out? I’d like to know now so I can act like I have a headache well in advance,” Gwen stated.
“Don’t you remember what it was like for us? It wasn’t like this before, not even close. We had drive, energy, passion. These days, all you want to do the second you get home is bury your head in that damn phone and bask in any shred of attention you manage to acquire.”
She gave it nearly a minute before responding like a politician. “I do remember how it used to be; but things happen, unfortunately. That familiar aura of cold reality hits like blunt force trauma as emotions slowly flicker like some backwoods hotel sign…” Gwen paused, evidently to recharge her thought process. “We definitely aren’t old by any stretch of the imagination, yet you can’t deny that we aren’t teenagers anymore. Puppy-dog romance always diminishes. I’m not saying anything new; I’m just telling the truth.”
“The truth is that our marriage has deteriorated like a highway road,” he said flatly, but frankly.
“How so, exactly?” Gwen asked in bemusement.
“If you carefully look at what has happened between us, you’re just not here anymore. You are a shell of what you once were-now almost fully gone and soon to be extinct. Your excitement primarily stems from a random bing, ding, or whatever the hell else emits from that thi-sorry. Before you correct me, I know it’s not just a thing to you. It’s called the DroPho MaxX and in my humble opinion, it’s whack!”
Clearly exhausted from the verbal back-and-forth and simply wanting to go to bed at this point, Gwen decided to put her phone aside on the nightstand and turn toward her man, letting her eyes hone in on his as their hands clasped together gently. As the hushed, melodious instrumental of Saving Words For Making Sense by The Six Parts Seven began to play through their wireless Bluetooth speakers as a complimenting backdrop, she spoke with sentimental conviction in her voice: “I love you, Scott, and I’m deeply sorry. To tell you the truth, I don’t think of myself as some kind of unfeeling robot, but I will freely admit that I can get a little too caught up in pointless activity on the Internet at times.”
“Well, I appreciate you coming to grips with it,” he said with an authentic smile.
She continued. “And since it does upset you greatly, I promise to cut down considerably from this moment forward.” Scott studied her like a cop would a suspect in an interrogation room. He was trying so hard to believe what she had said, but in all likelihood, she was probably just wanting to end this monotonous exercise in marital unhappiness. Tomorrow morning or maybe in the afternoon, if she attempted to prove something to herself or to him, the same exact argument would occur between them-a vicious cycle and a depressing struggle. The world had seemed to be a lot easier to understand before all of the distractions became the main attractions. What started out as a life convenience had now turned into an actual way of life for most people.
What would you do if the Internet mysteriously vanished? NO NET is the ambitious novel that explores how little or how much people care about the beloved World Wide Web. Spanning across 20 APPs with a hearty assortment of varied characters, this fictional tale begs you to just take a moment and think about how deep we’ve all been sinking in a digital quicksand…
About the Author
Noah Nichols is just your normal, everyday introvert that is wanting to make something of himself before his time is up. His debut full-length cautionary tale No Net is a valiant attempt to open eyes and turn heads in a desensitized world full of plastic people. He has had short stories published on 101 Words and Fewer Than 500 in the past. Born in Ohio in the year 1982, he has went through life like so many others have; in a constant internal struggle to find that ever-elusive true calling. However, once he found it shining like a fiery beacon on May 23rd, 2015, he hasn’t looked back. Writing is now without a doubt, his love, his drive, his mission. True till death.
You can purchase No Net on Amazon.