by JO ABI
My life has slowly started to revolve around my smart phone. I first realised I had a problem when I brought my smart phone to bed with me. I set up my nest of blankets and lovingly placed my smart phone under my pillow (secretly so my husband couldn’t see it was there). I switched it on silent. My hand rested on it until I started to drift to sleep.
I woke up the next day, stretched my arms over my head and excitedly remembered that my smart phone was with me. The first thing I did was check Twitter. Over six hundred followers – yes. I checked the weather, posted a comment on Facebook about the weather, read a couple of pages of a book I had upload and eventually rolled out of bed to get the kids ready for school.
My husband has felt resentful of my smart phone for a while now. We used to snuggle up in front of the TV watching shows together. Now I lay back on my own, tapping away. “What are you doing on that thing,” he demanded. “Twittering,” I told him. “About what,” he said. “Everything,” I responded. “Have you ever Twittered about me,” he asked. “No,” I lied.
In fact, I can’t watch TV without my smart phone. No longer happy to just yell at the TV, I post comments like….PATRICK IS AN IDIOT FOR BREAKING UP WITH NINA or OH GOOD ALICIA MIGHT GET BACK TOGETHER WITH PETER. I commented that PRICKLY PEARS TASTE REALLY NICE, during Masterchef and that was all in one night. It’s unhealthy and ridiculous. I need an intervention.
I pay my bills on my smart phone. I work on my smart phone. I shop on my smart phone. I diagnose medical issues on my smart phone. I offered to pay a bill for my dad on my smart phone once. He looked at me like I’d kicked the dog. He still walks up to the post office to pay his bills.
My smart phone has apps that know me better than I know myself –my calendar, ‘to do’ lists, an app that tells me when my period is due (next Tuesday), my meal planner and the network of ‘friends’ I’d never keep in touch with if it wasn’t for my smart phone.
I’ve started having to put my smart phone on the back seat of my car while driving. The temptation to check my emails or send a message while stopped at a red lights is just too great.
When I can’t find my smart phone I panic. My stomach clenches, cold sweat drenches me. I call it and call it until I find it (in the toy box, next to the toilet, under the lounge – thanks kids).
It doesn’t make sense! I haven’t had a smart phone for long. I’ve only had it this year. Without it I am half a person. I am inefficient, isolated and miserable. And my poor, forgotten laptop which used to be in the place of my smart phone (but not under my pillow) can do nothing but sit on my desk hoping I remember how much easier it is to type on a full sized keyboard.
I’ve started wondering if I could do a smart phone detox. One or two days a week during which I am not allowed to touch it. I’d crack, for sure. Just like my attempts to give up coffee I’d last until about 10.30am at most before I became irritable and cranky and my family practically begged me to take it up again.
There are people who don’t even own smart phones. They are like aliens to me.
Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia. You can follow her on Twitter here
Are you in a relationship with your smart phone?