We Are Slaves To Numbers And We Don't Even Know It
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We Are Slaves To Numbers And We Don't Even Know It

My (non)numerical value

9
We Are Slaves To Numbers And We Don't Even Know It
Fair Play

There are 10 numbers that exist. We learned these numbers when we wore diapers and still depended on a gourmet meal consisting of pureed Gerber baby foods. As we grew up, those numbers tested our patience whether it was pleading for another five minutes on the playground or cramming for that times table quiz with our dad next to our side, numbers have been something that we base our success and failures on.

When I wake up the first numbers I see are the white silhouettes of a nauseating 8:15 alarm on my screen, then it’s checking the weather app and deciding whether I want to wear a cardigan or not based on two digits telling me how it feels outside. Then it’s off to class where I’ll receive papers with a red numerical mark that describes how well I did on a test or assignment. I’ll eat lunch scrolling on my phone looking at who posted what and subconsciously notice how many likes they have all while keeping an eye on my iPhone battery, and the day continues with the same pattern.

When I was 9, I cared about what time my favorite TV show came on. I cared about how many days there were until my birthday, how many chores I would have to do in order to be allowed to go to what seemed like the epitome of a fourth-grade slumber party, and I cared about the number of donuts I could eat in one sitting. Now I am almost 19 and I catch myself caring about the amount of Instagram likes I get, the views on each article I post, the amount of money in my bank account, the calories I eat, the scores on my tests, how fast I can run, and the list continues.

You might not think about it, but there’s an idea rooted in our society that our identity depends on these 10 numbers, starting from the moment doctors announce our time of birth and weight. It’s as small as the four-number passcode lock on our phones, to the scores on our finals, to the number of touchdowns we made, to the number of pounds we gained or lost, to the number of likes on our pictures. Our happiness can depend on these things, we can depend on them to give us significance when nothing else does. When we’re given numbers that show us how successful we are, through retweets, shares, and times, our happiness will always be temporary instead of fulfilling.

We forget that numbers are just measurements, they do not know us as well as we think they do. Numbers tell us the weight of our body, not the weight of our significance. They tell us how fast we can run a mile in, and not how fast our lives go by. They tell us how well we did on that accounting test, but not how well we’re doing in general.

It’s hard to remember that your existence doesn’t depend on a numerical scale. It doesn’t matter if it’s your weight, your GPA, your bank account, your social media popularity, your this or your that. Self-worth is not circling a number to give depth to our happiness. So stop look for the meaning within those values, look for the meaning in you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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