Nobody likes broken technology. I mean, I guess there are some people out there who get a weird sense of satisfaction from fixing broken technology, but are they really excited that it’s broken or that they were able to fix a problem? Are there actual human beings living in 2021 that pick up their phone and hope it doesn’t work? I have to believe the answer is no. Unless you were trying to get off the grid for a while. Broken broken feels like a strong wish, though, when you could just turn it off or leave it at home.

For the more sane among us, broken technology is never a fun time. Technology, for starters, is expensive. Like sell your first child expensive and every year those prices climb a little more. It’s the most exhausting hill climb I’ve ever done. Remember when you could get a phone for like, well I don’t actually remember anything pre several hundred dollars, but at some point it was affordable. Same with gas, and clothes, and houses, and cars, and toothbrushes, and watches, and all of the things. 

So you’ve spent your entire paycheck on something the size of your palm. It’s fun! It’s new! It’s the envy of your friends, co-workers, sidewalk strangers – everyone! Until it’s not. There’s always the one day where you go to power on a device and get the infinite loading screen of death. A stalled progress bar. A spinner stuck in time. A loading bar that never starts loading. A percentage that would fail every test, regardless of the curve. You know what I’m talking about.

Few things bring greater frustration than broken technology. Why is that? My guess: we need working technology to find a solution for our current problem. But if the solution magician is also asleep at the wheel, how are we ever supposed to move forward? Stuck in a black hole of questions and no answers. A lot like English exams. What answer are you looking for?! An opinion is not an accurate way to assess my knowledge of a book! Everyone is different and my current opinion is best left in my head.

Anyways … despite my raging passion against standardized English testing, technology is the same puzzle. And so we travel down the path and start walking through the 5 stages of grief with our currently most hated possession. Starting, of course, with grief. Grief for not being able to get it working. For never knowing if you’ll see the login screen ever again. A genuine sadness that it doesn’t work all the time. Like the price tag indicated.

We quickly move on into the angst portion of our journey thinking about all the potentially lost data if our technology does not magically come back online. When was the last time you ran a backup? Do you even know people’s phone numbers? How are you supposed to contact someone to send help? Will we ever see those unopened messages again? Once we’ve accepted our sadness, fears, and anxieties around our current situation we move to confusion.

Confusion around how to even begin fixing this. Who knows how to fix these things? Do you have to physically go to a store? Wait in line and hope you can explain the problem enough for someone to fix it. General confusion on how it works to begin with. Literally think about that for just a second. How do these things do all of the things they do? I have no idea. But that is a short rest area on our way to anger. Why? Simply why must things be like this?

You want answers. I want answers. Everybody wants answers, but the place with the answers is currently closed. So where does that leave us? About to throw something at a wall probably. And you can see how we easily get to tears. Throwing is never the ideal solution. Brute force, after all, usually makes it much worse. But at the end of the day, hole in the wall or not, we are frustrated to the point of literal, or metaphorical, tears. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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Some things in life suck – breakups, getting fired, paying bills, when your team gets upset in the March Madness tournament, ripping your pants, losing the TV remote, running out of Chewy Chips Ahoy (READ MORE on my love for these cookies), cleaning a mirror to find streaks left behind (I think this is THE WORST – find out why HERE), etc. How do you react when it happens? Me, personally, am a pity partier. I’m not proud of that, but sharing is caring. Then one day someone gave me the best advice. They said ‘Let it go already! Ain’t nobody got time for that!’ And my first thought was ‘You’re my therapist … I’m paying you to have time for this’. But in reality, no, nobody has time for that! Not me, not you, not my therapist, apparently. 

What is even the purpose of a pity party? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a pity party is defined as ‘an instance of indulging in self-pity or eliciting pity from other people’. That’s all nice and dandy, but let’s dive deeper. What is pity? Well, if you ask the Oxford Dictionary (AKA a Google Search for pity) it’s either ‘the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others’ or ‘a cause for regret or disappointment’. 

Literally just typing that made me feel like a terrible person. What is wrong with us as a species? Why do we think it’s ok to force our sadness and misfortunes on unassuming people who were probably having a great day until you started moaning about the sandwich you ordered only being medium warm instead of hot out of the oven? Newsflash: NOBODY CARES! We get it, you’re sad. You know what won’t make you happy? Constantly reminiscing on how your life sucks right now and you’re in a tough spot. You know what will make you feel better, though? Well, Chewy Chips Ahoy for one, but also moving on and realizing that you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.

So your heart is broken? There’s more than one person in the world – go find someone better! So you lost your job? Use your experience to write a killer resume – then go get a better one with a higher salary! So your bills are due … again? Well, you don’t technically have to pay them if you don’t want to, you just won’t have electricity/water/cell service/Internet/etc. if you don’t. Oh, your bracket is ruined? Whose isn’t? That Cinderella team lost a lot of people money, not just you, and they moved on so suck it up buttercup.

By now, you’re probably thinking ‘That’s great and all, but easier said than done. Tell me something I don’t know’. Alright, fine. Have you ever seen the Pixar film Inside Out? There’s a lot of articles on the science behind it, but in my unprofessional opinion it boils down to this: whichever emotion you allow to control your switchboard is the one that controls every aspect of your life. So if you let Pity run the show, then that pity seeps into your actions, into your relationships with others, into your bones (hello constant exhaustion and tired muscles), and into your thoughts. You ooze pity and no one wants to interact with someone who looks like they might start rambling about how an unauthorized person parked in their spot and they forgot an umbrella so now they’re soaking wet. Would you go talk to that person? I wouldn’t because I don’t need your pity jumping onto my switchboard. I’ve got problems of my own, I don’t need yours too.

What’s my point here? Never to feel sad, or to talk about how you’re down about something that happened? No, that’s unnatural and a strong indicator of a psychopath. Feel that emotion, feel that weight, let it piss you off, question what led up to it, allow yourself to have that self-pity, talk to someone about how it’s affecting you! But don’t hold on to it. Don’t let it take over your switchboard and run your life for weeks, months, or years. Accept that it happened, learn from it, and get on with your life. Make that ex jealous, make your old boss beg to have you back, buy 12 different TV remotes so you can always find one, go off-the-grid and get rid of your bills, etc. And if you are struggling to do that for yourself, then please, for the love of God, do it for us because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is pity partying it up, pass this along so they can know that their reservation at the Pity Inn is up, and if they want to keep staying there, then something new has to happen to them. Otherwise GET OUT! Thanks for reading!


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