When I moved on from my phone?
“I swear I thought to never txt/call you again.” a message I regularly get these days.
In one of my many encounters with random strangers, normally at the smokers area of a bar or pub despite being a non-smoker all my life, we had this chat about how she had lost her phone and how much from her life went with it. This made me realise how much of my life my phone dictates rather than assists.
Going on two holidays this summer just showed me how much of a WiFi junkie I was, as I couldn’t afford the ridiculous 3G charges from my provider outside the EU. This attachment showed me how much more this thing we still call a phone, meant to me. Easier to carry than my laptop it was just with me at all times. The bar tender became my friend in the first holiday, as that was the WiFi zone in the hotel, then the question I asked at every restaurant before we sat down “Do you have WiFi? And if “yes” then “What is the password?” It was my source for “news back home,” at a period when the football season had just started it was my transfer window gossip provider, my diary, my travel journal, my camera, my music player and my video chat to show off to my mum all the scenery I was enjoying.
I then returned to London with a new habit. Unless I have a pre-planned meeting with a person or they send me a text message after I didn’t answer the first phone call saying “It is an emergency call me back!” I just give the “If it’s important they can leave a message” attitude. I then send out the odd text or call back few hours or days later explaining how much of rubbish friend I am. But majority of the time I didn’t answer the calls because it’s either “come let’s go out” or “what are you on tonight?” While I was too busy being in the middle of making some notes of some sort on my phone, most of the time in front of the laptop screen, typing a group text to organise a meeting (phone calls are so last season and no one answers), watching a Vice documentary or reading an article and ending up watching the ringing until it finishes, as I didn’t want the suspicion of ignoring the person to arise if I cancelled too quick. A professional at ignoring or as my friends liked to put it “you are ghosting again!”
Then God came down in the form of a female, who had a horrible day between a bus garage and a police station, to make me realise: “What on Earth are you doing son?”
These latest generation smart phones with their very very very short battery life never used to bother me. I was always prepared. Now the phone is left dead on purpose on many occasion, with what I like to call “planned charger forgettings.” Alternatively, leave the phone in the charge on silent and in the odd occasion that I see it, just mute the vibration and enjoy the book and the cup of tea.
The level of productivity in terms of reading has increased significantly mirroring some of the achievements in the Pre-Portable Telephone era. And I am glad that now there’s some hope for print in my life and a dying digital. With the expense of many friends and family hating my ignoring mode, which I will replace with quality time instead and not let the digital world dictate my world.