Me, my phone and I
I feel like I have a dilemma. With the recent release of the iPhone 6, I paused for a moment to study the mobile phone which I currently own: a first generation LG touch-screen thing, which cannot access the internet or receive picture messages.
Some would ask how I survive.
Others wonder if it’s just a ‘fill-in’ phone while my other, better one is being repaired.
It is neither of those things, and less. Frankly, I hardly use it. It sits in the bottom of my handbag when I’m out, on my desk while I’m at university and sometimes under my bed when I’m studying. The only technological gadgets I own that truly serve any purpose to me is my laptop and my iPod; writing and music being essential to my life as an unemployed (but working on it) university student. Usually when I inform my peers of this, they stare at me blankly, unable to comprehend how a fellow companion of the 21st century manages such a thing. If you asked, me I couldn’t tell you, mostly because I’ve never known any better. If anything, these reactions I receive — which are all similar in nature: surprised, disbelieving and disturbed — have caused me to notice how much we rely on technology as a daily informer of both social and news-related happenings.
Like my nanna, sometimes I just can’t understand it. Once, my friend and I vowed to bring back the letter-writing process, just because we could. Regrettably, it didn’t last very long, as stamps cost money and as poor university students, every cent matters. Also, neither of us found time to walk to the nearest post office box, nor remember to purchase packets of envelopes, or find writing paper. “It was worth a shot,” we told each other, overly disappointed. Two hours later, we were messaging each other over social media, and our attempt at holding onto past forms of communication were soon forgotten. I started wondering then, in addition to becoming self-conscious about my mobile phone, whether I should bother investing in technology more than I have already. I mentioned beforehand that I own a laptop — this did not occur until I completed Grade 12 in 2013, as a reward for my penance. My iPod, too, is an early generation Touch model — so early, that some apps are unable to be used on it. I constantly watch my friends and co-workers updating themselves with new gadgets, and I ask them where they get the money. Usually, the answer is something like, “I’m paying my parents back”, or “I got a loan”; two of the things I refuse to do.
Call me odd, but I have this belief where if you can’t afford something, then you can’t have it. Having been raised with this belief, I get annoyed when people’s parents pay for absolutely EVERYTHING in their son’s or daughter’s lives, like their rent, or their education, or their cars or their clothes and food and goddamn phones. How does a young person learn independence when mum and dad continue to do everything for them? It makes no sense to me. Maybe I’m just unfortunate. Maybe I’m of a minority. Maybe I’m being petty. Maybe everyone’s parents actually pay for their shit, and people like me are the weird, frustrating ones. Coming from a middle-class family where both of my parents work and have owned the same, shitty lemon for about eleven years, making the acquaintances of wealthy, ignorant young people who saw the model of my phone as a primary concern really rustled my jimmies.
Yes, my phone is old. No, I can’t access the internet with it, and no, don’t send me pictures, because I won’t be able to see them. Maybe one day I’ll update my life and buy some technology of the present, rather than cling helplessly to the past, but until that day, excuse me while I continue to not give a damn.