I wake up to go to the bathroom. A pretty unremarkable story on any other day, but March 30th is no longer any other day.
I reach for my phone, feeling around on the bedside table until I locate it. My eyes haven’t even opened, but I find it within seconds.
The light from the screen clicks on, displaying a photo from another life - my friends and I on a mountain somewhere in “pre-COVID times.”
Watch: The new normal. Post continues below.
I swipe it away, sliding my thumb across the screen with the ease of my eyelids sliding open.
I grip the device tightly, trying to work out why I grabbed it in the first place. I don’t need it for anything in particular. And I know that I shouldn’t wake up this way - I’ve read the articles, watched the docos, whatever.
Blue light = Bad! Cancer! Blindness!
2903820 reasons to ditch your phone before bed!
But this year, my iPhone has become a kind of techy teddy bear. Some nights, I’ve woken up cuddling it under my neck. I’m not proud to admit that.
Maybe, subconsciously, my mind knows it’s where mum is. My phone is, in fact, the only place I see her now. Or see anyone, really. This weekend marked exactly one year since lockdown started. And the moment my entire life moved into Apple products.
A sloppily arranged array of apps emerge, and the glowing interface automatically softens to match the ambiance of my room. Again, magic. I respect and despise this device in equal measure.
I check the clock in the left-hand corner - 2:24 am AEDT - before noticing an absence of notifications. I stare blankly at my unmarked apps. Not out of disappointment, but out of relief.
In 2021, peace to me is an empty message bank. No work emergencies, or family drama, senseless deaths or Donald Trump disasters.