[Image: A pianist on TikTok posts a video of himself playing, asking others to try to learn this progression. The notes of each chord flash across the screen, the view of just his left hand pressing down on the keys. F A C E / F A B D / E G B D/ E G A C / D F A C / D F G B / C E G C. Another TikTok user posts a duet to his video, her dimly-lit bedroom offering a mid-gray-green light cast across the wall behind her, over her face and beanie—out from which her bangs emerge, parted in a small upside-down V in the center of her forehead—and the three small paintings hung above her head. She wears one earbud of her wired Apple headphones as she sings along with the pianist, a soft, rich alto, reciting each chord as if the letters are the lyrics to his song, a jazzy tempo one could feel compelled to snap their fingers to, but she doesn’t snap hers. Faace, fa-be-duh, eggabeduh, e-gack, di-fack, diffigibbuh, seeexy. I watch under the covers so that the duvet will block the light from Phil’s eyes as he falls asleep. He wishes I would spend less time staring at my phone screen before bed. He thinks (he knows) that it keeps me awake, but I don’t know what else to do when I can’t sleep. And I worry about what I’ll miss. What specific moments of the algorithm I’ll never see if I’m only online during the day—the same way I often feel like I should go to thrift stores because whatever’s there today will not be there tomorrow, despite not knowing what is there today, despite knowing that if I go today, I’ll miss what will be there tomorrow—I’m certain that a daytime scroll would elicit different content. On the singer’s last two words, she raises her left hand with the rising resolution of her voice.]
[Image: There’s an old video of actress Kim Cattrall that sometimes makes the rounds online: she’s scatting, accompanied by her then-husband on the upright bass. YouTube’s auto-transcript provides this translation: yarmulkes yay grow / saturate the cable winds / I’ll at me quote, music stops correct. The top comment reads: I come back to this every few years to remind myself it’s real. I watch other versions of the same clip, and the auto-transcript changes.]
[Image: On Twitter, a woman describes looking up her mother’s old house on Google Maps, how the caption reads, image captured in 2009. Through the window, her mother’s bedroom light is on, the house is still her mother’s and her mother is still alive. She’s taken a screenshot in preparation for the day the Google Van drives down her mother’s street again, finally replacing the image of her mother’s house with a new photograph of the same house, now someone else’s. In the replies, others post screenshots of their lost loved ones, found again on Google Maps. One user’s father tends to flowers in his garden three years later. A woman’s dog still waits on the window ledge for her return. A man’s late mother stands on her front porch. Another’s father has been walking his dog along a country road for just over ten years. The way that the force of Google can sometimes feel like the universe itself, like it knows so much beyond our grasp that we can’t help but believe its ghosts. The alternate reality that the past becomes when we’re confronted with the ways that it has tried to hold on in the present.]
[Image: On TikTok, a man posts a video pranking his girlfriend, knocking her phone out of her hand. It smashes on the floor of their apartment. She cries when it won’t turn back on. I had photos of my dad on here, she tells him.]
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god I love this so much.
"What specific moments the algorithm I’ll never see if I’m only online during the day—the same way I often feel like I should go to thrift stores because whatever’s there today will not be there tomorrow"
[image: bridget stares at her computer screen longingly, trying to understand how nina's beautiful poetic brain works]