Battery: 100% - Impossible Perfection
Only possible when wired directly to the wall, the full battery is worshiped as the ideal. Though it will tick down to 99% in about twenty seconds, you will compare your phone to this moment for the rest of the day. There was once perfection in this world, but now it is gone.
Battery: 99% - Golden Age
Truly the Golden Age of cellphone usage. You text and browse freely and carelessly update apps that you don't even use. Out of boredom, you refresh websites hoping they've updated in the last five minutes. Free of battery anxiety, this glorious--though fleeting-- time will forever remain with you.
Battery: 70% - Crushing Austerity
The Golden Age comes to an abrupt stop as you shift immediately to a crushing austerity. App after app is shut down. Browsing is limited and there is no way you're going to click on any gifs. When driving, you continuously close Google Maps only to reopen it every few minutes. You keep reminding yourself to stop checking your email, and instead just stare off blankly at the wall. "Is this what hell feels like?" you ask yourself, and after a few minutes you answer, "yes."
Battery: 50% - Pragmatic Revolution
As your anxiety rises, you convince yourself that you know something about cellphones. All you have to do, you think, is shut down a few processes or features and you'll be fine. In reality you have no idea what to do. You can't stop annoying notifications from Candy Crush let alone get a phone to run more efficiently. But there is no stopping you. After a few minutes of flipping through settings, you give up. Eventually you manage to dim the screen to one point above OFF and by this time you're so delusional you think it's helping.
Battery: 40% - Great Panic
With the percentage still crashing, your clear thinking turns into the Great Panic. Superstitions and false beliefs rule your decisions. You accuse innocent apps of draining battery life. You shift the phone to your other pocket thinking that it's cooler and thus, somehow, better. You google "How to make cellphone better" and click on some shady Russian link thinking it will help. You become incredibly aware of other people's battery situation. When you see someone charging up, you frantically consider talking to strangers just for a bit of juice. You don't. With each waning tick, you build an amazing resentment towards Apple/Samsung/umm...Nokia? This isn't a battery, this is a scam! You've been swindled! These giant companies owe you a refund!
Battery: 30% Painful Acceptance
This is not the phone's fault. This is your fault. You look back at the Golden Age with a tinge of regret. You had it all: the data, the phone, the battery. And for what? To sit on the toilet and catch, like, fifty Drowzees? The world was in your hands and you squandered it without a second thought. Acknowledging your wrongs, you try to remember that people once lived without phones, you try to roleplay as though you're a 1990s barbarian. It does not work. Instead, you must accept that you will live without constant push notifications. You must accept that someday you will die. That's a bit dramatic.
Battery: 20% Fleeting Optimism
For the first time since you unplugged the phone, you finally feel joy. Despite the dire estimated time remaining, you become incredibly thankful for each percentage left. All of a sudden, it seems as though the battery will just hover in the teens for the rest of day. It won't.
Battery: 10% True Freedom
You've managed to do everything in your power to save the last few ticks of your cellphone, but you know that any minute will be its last. Unfortunately, it is now, for the first time of the day, that you actually have to use your phone. Perhaps you need an Uber or urgent directions or a call from a loved one. You turn the phone off airplane mode, you turn on location services, you pray for just a few minutes longer. It dips from 9 to 8 to 7. You begin begging. The screen turns black. You thought you were prepared for this moment, but it still hurts. It hurts so damn much.
I have raised over $300 participating in quilting bees for the American Quilting Bee Society so I think I deserve at least seven minutes of your time.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.