We are old acquaintances. Despite living 20 years, I have never actively contemplated what you mean. You are both a friend and an enemy, most like the air. Few people think about the meaning of the existence of air, everyone just knows that no one can survive without it. Maybe for the rest of my life, it will be difficult for me to give you a definition of good or bad, but I am ready for this, after all, where in this world is there a kind of existence, can be easily defined good or bad?
During the pandemic, I had to be quarantined at home because I lived in Wuhan. The whole city seemed empty, and the downtown area, which should have been the liveliest, was silent like a cemetery. My parents and I didn’t live together for some reason, so I had to spend those months alone. Luckily, with my cell phone and you, I could call them and confirm each other’s safety, I could know the latest progress of Wuhan’s epidemic through news reports, I could help forward help messages on Weibo, I could know where to donate, and I could have channels to sign up as volunteers. I can’t imagine how desperate I would be without you.
Including now that I am in Amsterdam, far away from China, my contact with my family is a phone call after calculating the time difference. Even if the time difference is 6 hours, even if we are half a world away, but once the video call is connected, I can still count the number of wrinkles my dad has grown and share with mom what happened recently. This Mid-Autumn Festival, although I could not be with my family, but on that day we made long and long phone calls together.
I don’t know if you have a good understanding with me, but during my most confusing time, I inadvertently met one of the most influential philosophers in my life through the internet. I remember I was fifteen years old at that time and excitedly bought back all the books he had written and read them like a wolf every day. I felt that the windows of my world were reopened, that the questions I had always had were finally answered, and I felt as if for the first time, my existence as a seeker of knowledge was being taken seriously by someone. I feel that life has become meaningful again, and that at least in the future, there are still things worth seeking out and asking after. I cannot express how grateful I am to you, who made me meet him.
Of course, you have also brought me endless anxiety and guilt. Because of you, people can break the limitations brought by class and see more excellent and perfect people. Some people are talented, some are perfect looking, some are rich, and all of them are trying to show what they have and what others hardly have on social platforms. I can’t count how many nights I brush my phone and have trouble sleeping; I can’t count how many nights I chase the drama I want to watch, order take-out with my phone, and stay up all night, forgetting all my plans and goals, with only the fleeting and foolish pleasure in my eyes. You gave me too much temptation, but also let jealousy rise in my heart again and again, until I became the drunkard in the story of the <THE LITTLE PRINCE>, who used to get drunk to escape from being an alcoholic.
But in the end, I wouldn’t dare to say that you are responsible for all these good and bad ones. I think you just serve the existence of human desires, and the desire to connect with people, the desire for home, the desire to know, the desire to envy, the desire to enjoy ……. Whether you become more advanced in the future, or be destroyed by people, we eventually face our own hearts and take responsibilities for ourselves, right?
13689274, Kang Yinan