The Illusion of Junk Mail
The sun rose and I awoke early seeking something. I rolled over then crawled out of bed. I headed to my desk and flipped on the computer. In the mirror above the computer, my face shone from the brightness of the screen. There were ten new junk emails in my account. Yawn. I felt like unsubscribing to all ten enterprises. Enough. Who needs all this garbage? Delete. However, as my fingers slid over the delete button, I realized something novel, something unique. I couldn’t and didn’t want to unsubscribe. I wanted junk mail. I needed the junk mail. It felt good.
But why? What for? Just to fill the space. Am I that bored? What’s behind the junk? Is there something deeper? Something beneath the surface? Is it a satisfying illusion? Is it the illusion of community, a false self-value, and an escape from nihilism?
Yes, I had to admit. The junk mail actually fabricated a false community. A sense of care and belonging we all wish for. A feeling that somebody will help us when we’re in a crisis. A savior, a redeemer, a liberator, who’d appear and care for us. Someone, somewhere, is responsible and caring and will come and rescue us. But is it true? Are others in charge? Or are we independent and responsible for ourselves?
In addition, the sense of importance and significance thrills our essence. The satisfaction of the junk mail camouflages the contentment we long. It creates the façade of prestige and status we crave. The sense of value and pride we yearn is falsely gratified.
Last, the unbearable nihilistic feeling of nothingness, the feeling of dissociation, needs to submerge. The distraction and illusion the mail creates, transforms our boredom into a false meaning. It fills the void, the emptiness, with delusion. It’s an artificial substitute to help us stay afloat, to convince us of our purpose. But is it our true essence? Is that who we truly are?
I stared at the computer and wondered, what exactly does the junk mean for me? What need does it fulfill? Why do I need to constantly check the inbox? Why is it so devastating when there’s nothing new? What is it that I’m so desperately yearning for? And then I thought, is it the illusion of community, or perhaps, it’s the pride. Maybe, it’s an escape from the nihilistic dread we don’t want to face.