Seth Andrei Plata
Anya Jazmine Tiglao
Darkness Brighter Than Light
It’s been a long day.
You thought as you finished your last piece of homework for the day. Drowsy, you turn off your bedroom lights, fall into bed, and slip into the warmth of your blanket. It doesn’t take much time until your weary eyes start wandering into the darkness—the seemingly endless void around you. Nothing but pitch black, almost as if you were alone in your own dimension.
You felt, well, disconnected.
It’s only a matter of seconds until you reach out your hand out into the darkness, trying to feel out a small rectangular figure on your bedside table. You find and grab this small handheld device and hold it up in front of your face.
The phone glows, lighting up your room. Immediately, you’re greeted by a bunch of notifications that are only there to hook you in: a variety of pop-ups ranging from message notifications to posts you absolutely cannot miss. You let out a small sigh as you give in to its temptation and start tapping away.
It suddenly felt like all your worries were washed away; you were scrolling through your feed, going through videos to your heart’s content, and browsing the endless sea of content the internet has to offer. It felt so surreal. You managed to relate to each post, laugh at every joke, and be entertained by everything.
That being said, your weary eyes widened and your yawns were postponed, all because you felt a little more connected. It felt as if a void was being filled—the same way that small smartphone, that can fit in the palm of your hands, lights up your room of nothingness.
You kept scrolling, desperate to feel belongingness, but after what felt like the hundredth video and the thousandth post, it just wasn’t doing it for you anymore. Still, you continue to scroll even further, hoping that you’ll find the same satisfaction you had when you first picked up your phone. Before you knew it, you got stuck in a trance.
You have no clue how much time has passed, and an even lesser idea of how far you’ve scrolled. Mindlessly staring into the screen, not once do you even bother taking your eyes off it. It was almost like you were stuck in a similar but radically different void, only this time it’s not a void of darkness but a void of light. Perhaps, that’s exactly what it is?
The internet is designed to keep you on it; it understands what interests you, and will only show that to keep you entertained. This is what gives you that sense of connectedness, what makes you feel like you belong.
Although you can absolutely use it to seek refuge, you have to be careful not to get lost in the infinitely stretching world of the internet. You quickly realize how far you’ve wandered into this dimension of light, and how you’re starting to lose sight of everything. It then becomes clear to you that light may be what fills the darkness, but to an extent that same light can also be blinding, essentially making your world darker than it would have been in the absence of it…
Light can fill an empty space.
But, would you really say that your filled space is no longer empty?
You hit the power button on your phone, and your room is once again swallowed by darkness. Except for this time, it felt a lot brighter than you thought it would be.