I can’t live without my phone. And I’m not afraid to admit it.
I recently spent two days without a functioning phone, and I barely survived.
I know it seems overdramatic. But before you jump to any conclusions about my sanity and condemn me as typical Gen Y – let’s break it down.
Two days is 48 hours. In that time, I missed out on checking Facebook approximately thirty-two thousand times. I was forced to skip five hundred and sixteen breaking news updates. I missed one million text messages and forty trillion phone calls. (These figures are estimates only).
I know that some people would have used this time an as opportunity to ‘get back to nature’. A perfect excuse to be free from the technological prison that our phones keep us locked in. To feel the temperature outside and the wind on their skin instead of checking the weather forecast. To look into the eyes of the people they love instead of tweeting about them. A chance to really be present in their surroundings.
And I would have loved to have done those things…
But I was so distracted with worry about my phone (WHAT IF IT NEVER GETS FIXED? WILL I HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY FOREVER?) that it was impossible.
During my phone’s hiatus, one of my friends was experiencing a romantic relationship crisis. (I was forced to speak to her on the home phone. It was super old school. I may as well have been twisting the cord around my fingers waiting for the curlers in my hair to cool like one of the Pink Ladies in Grease.)
Every so often during my 48 phone-less hours, I would catch myself with a pit of worry in my stomach. I assumed I was worried about my friend, and told myself it was a mark of my kindness and impressive emphathetic abilities.
When I finally got a new phone, my worry instantly disappeared. Despite the fact my friend’s problems remained.
It was then I realised that I’m not kind nor emphathetic at all; I’m a technology junkie who cares more about a piece of plastic (albeit a really clever one with an app that can direct me home from ANYWHERE) than an actual person that I love.
Now, I wish this was a lovely story where I ended up throwing my phone in the toilet and running around in a field of flowers to prove that technology doesn’t control me and I’ve broken free of its all-consuming clutches. But it is not.
Technology actually does control me. I am slave to that shiny, palm-sized piece of robotic magic. I am a square-eyed cyborg that cannot function in normal, phone-less situations.
And yet nobody can deny how much easier it is now my friend can just text me everything her on-again, off-again partner says to her. I can reply in an instant, using only a single emoticon to sum up my thoughts (normally an angry face, but sometimes a fun poo emoticon to shake things up). I can find funny pictures of Ryan Gosling or baby goats on the Internet to cheer her up..
I can unfollow the offender on Instagram and REALLY MAKE A STAND.
In short, my phone makes me a better friend and a better person. And, I’m not afraid to say, I hope it never leaves me again.
Because, when I finally had my phone back in my hand where it belongs, I didn’t spend a single nanosecond reflecting on the wasted opportunity to reconnect with nature. I went on Instagram and I looked at a heavily filtered photo of a sunset and I thought: SUCK IT NATURE THIS IS THE BEST VIEW IN THE WORLD.