Just one step ahead of the robots, you think, just keep one step ahead, they can’t (re)write what they don’t understand, nor can they overtake what doesn’t happen, isn’t generated, just log off, shut down, reboot, it all sounds so simple, so obvious — so healing — so why can’t you do it you wonder, and the response comes back, always the same, I don’t know, which is when you then start to wonder why your brain is playing around with differing points of view, you, I, they, but of course you already know it’s all you because it’s all in your head and that part’s hard to shut off, like when people ask you why you have a hearing aid — as if the answer wasn’t obvious — maybe they think someone so young, so good looking as you shouldn’t have a hearing aid or perhaps they think — falsely — that you are anti-robot and that placing a machine inside your ear is somehow pro-robot, a peculiar enticing-frightening melding of the human with the machine but the truth is you don’t have the energy to explain that it’s only partly because years of music WAY TOO LOUD has permanently damaged your hearing, no, the really hard part is to explain to them that now you have a constant, loud, mind-plaguing never-ending hissing, an ironic and cruel joke of your damaged ear and (hopefully) non-damaged brain trying so very very hard to properly decipher the actual sounds of the world around you that it results in a sleep-refraining, snake-like, too-loud HISS that won’t stop but sometimes the hearing aid, which you hate wearing, it itches your ear thus necessitating you taking it out and shoving your small finger in there to scratch it all away making you wonder if this will become another OCD-driven habit, which you always fear, but it’s all still worth it because sometimes the hearing aid does what it’s meant to do which is to neutralize the hiss and that’s very hard to tell people because who can understand what it’s like to have constant hissing in their ear, literally constant, though you wonder now if that’s still true, that maybe they can understand, even empathize, because of this rise in posts, tweets, shares — pleas — from more and more people wondering how they can stop themselves from looking, reading, posting, linking, sharing, knowing, because even though we humans have very deliberately made more food available to ourselves than we can possibly consume, our brain and body and soul not meant for a life of caloric abundance, making us all fat, fat and miserable, we think an even greater failing awaits us and that is that we’ve turned on this raging river of information and data, more than all of humanity can consume forever, and even if we just gently tap into it, just a little prick, even that’s too much, only we don’t know how to shut it off, worse, we fear we can’t live without it, and the people who sneer at us for not doing our daily quiet meditation are, we know, not like us, not like most of us, the kind of people who can open a bag of chips, eat a few then close the bag, it’s not fully human even if it is better — in theory at least — and, given all this, you only half-heartedly blame yourself for not logging off, for not shutting down, and you also think of Ecclesiastes which advises you there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak” only what good is it if literally everyone and soon everything is speaking to you, at you, near you, even for you, all of the time, which you don’t like to ponder both because you want the timeless lessons of the Bible to, in fact, be timeless, and because you don’t want to believe that the world’s noise is getting worse, louder, more persistent, more insistent, but you slurp your coffee, headphones on to drown out the noise, and you notice the lost boy and his tech toy, an Apple Watch, constantly raising his arm, flicking his wrist, the zaps, taps and buzzes from the device never offering him freedom, but then you’re struck with a thought, no, the other thought, from the apostle Mark, who said “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” and you wonder if all this noise, all this data, all those bits, never stopping, can be rejiggered somehow, made to serve man — yes, and woman — so that they actually nourish our souls, not deprecate them, that somehow we use all the noises, the tweets, the likes and shares, the notifications, taps, zaps and swipes to spread gospel and goodness, only you think that to put all that in motion you’ll need to first shut everything off and you’re not quite yet ready to do that, not right this moment, maybe not ever.