John eased himself back into his chair. The damn thing still squeaked and protested whenever he tried to lean like that.
He had spent a frankly stupid amount of time making the most minute changes to his website. A word here, a colour change there.
It had been a lot of work and now, finally, it was done.
All he had to do now was wait and see the Internet’s reaction. He expected they would think it was lovely, too.
He went and made a cup of tea. He hit refresh.
No comments. No views. No likes on any of his social media accounts. Nothing.
He hit refresh again.
The more he hit refresh, the more the realisation gradually dawned on him; the Internet had moved on. It didn’t care anymore. It was too busy fawning over new cat pictures, watching viral videos or debating the merits of deleting Facebook accounts.
His legions of adoring fans (both of them) had seemingly abandoned him.
All that work, he thought, for nothing! If only I had changed the entire site almost on a whim over the space of a couple of hours…
He tapped his mug and tried not to feel too glum when he realised that, on top of wasting his time on a new site design nobody actually cared about, he had spent the better part of the day waiting to see if anybody noticed.
He gazed out of the window at the world outside.
It was a glorious day. The sort where the sun’s glare makes you have to close the curtains all day so you can see the screen.
But it was also the sort of day that, for anybody actually out in it, only seems to happen a handful of times a year yet somehow lives long in the memory. The kind of day where the heat of the sun slowly gives way to long, warm, hazy evenings sweetened by the smells of cut grass and ice cream.
Time was wasting, and the day was nearly done.
But there was still a chance to get out there and experience it.
There was a life waiting for him out there, beyond the glare of the screen.
As he grabbed his keys and marched towards the door he made a promise to himself.
Next time, he’d change the whole site as fast as possible then crank out some guff to make everyone’s notifications do something and remind them he was out there.
Then he would just leave it alone and get on with living a bit.
After all, life was too short to be sat around in the dark hitting refresh all the time.