TNB: Wild Things Gone

“I’m not going climbing till I hit 12,000 followers,” Mike chortled. He was being facetious. But he was also gazing into his iPhone as if it held the secret to growing a bigger penis.

“Mike,” not his real name, was about 150 “people” shy of hitting 12K on Instagram. I say “people” in quotes because, for all intents and purposes, they aren’t actually people; they’re just numbers. Multiplicative, addictive stats that ping up on your phone’s screen at random intervals. Like a spinning slot machine, the notifications are awfully transfixing and cause you to check your phone every 25.8 seconds. 

Check out my latest column about escaping the social-media trap and just going climbing for experience in Rock and Ice 220, on newsstands now.