My phone was on the outs; I knew it and she knew it….her days were clearly limited.
My most convenient source of immediate gratification was beginning to become unpredictable, frustrating and unreliable.
She kept shutting off, overheating and just glitching, all over the place. Usually, or in the past, I would rush off to the nearest store, upgrade straight away and not look back.
Not this time.
This time, I leaned into the lack of distraction. I let my phone die. She died two days ago and I have been phone-less ever since. May she rest in peace.
Now for work reasons, I cannot let this go on for much longer because my personal phone is my work phone, but it has been nice.
The discomfort of not having a phone has been ‘nice,’ but not really.
I have had no one to sit with and spend my idle minutes with.
The walk to the local coffee shop, which is about three minutes, feels so long, without an audiobook readily being delivered to me via my ears.
I have had no one to waste time with, because she is no longer here.
Now, when I am waiting for a Netflix show to load, I actually just sit there, instead of browsing through Amazon for the .3 seconds…I am such a warrior.
A few times, during moments of bleak desperation, I kept trying to revive her lifeless body. Plugging her into her charger, again and again, even though I knew that, that blank screen would never light up again.
Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction. This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom
My attention span has clearly been whittled away over the decades.
I remember a much beloved version of me, in my twenties. This person was able to go the university library, with a laptop, no cell phone, a sandwich and some snacks and spend five hours writing. The only break I would take was to go pee, which is about every forty-five minutes for me. I could just write and write.
Now, thirty year old me, will go to a local coffee shop, pound the keyboard for sixty-ish minutes, pat myself on the back, for a job well done, and go back home.
Where is that writing warrior I use be? Did she die? Did I kill her?
Somewhere along the journey, I think I killed my discipline.
I have found the last couple of days extremely uncomfortable.
For the past forty-eight hours, I have not been able to take cool pictures for my Instagram account! Does my coffee even provide me comfort, if others do not know I am enjoying it, on my beautiful balcony?
I have not been able to send random text messages, when I am bored or killing time.
I have not been able to listen to audiobooks or podcasts and this has been, by far, the hardest part of the journey.
I am getting a new phone, tonight or tomorrow morning. I enjoy the fact that I will not run out of work, with my figurative hair on fire, rushing to the nearest cell phone store.
Maybe I will get it today and if not, I will survive until tomorrow.
This unexpected experiment has made me wonder….what would an entire day, with no phone, laptop or television look like?
I shudder to even think about how dark a twenty-four hour period like that would be.
I know that the only reason I have survived the past two days is because of my television and laptop…without them, I would have been hovering over the shoulders of strangers on the train, looking for a quick fix. A glimpse of a like, an ongoing text conversation or an automatic update that life still does exist.
I am planning on scheduling such a day in the near future, a technology free day, so I will be sure to detail the entire account and let you know what I learn, struggle through and grow from.
As for the rest of today, I have no idea who has called, texted or ‘liked’ anything of mine.
I am okay with that, but I know I was (nope, completely am) addicted because I keep looking for something to do with my hands. Grab a coffee, feverishly type keys on my keyboard, or just busy clean, to pass the time.
My train rides to work now seem so challenging; I use to love them before, getting a chapter of book listened to or wrapping up a podcast episode, on the way to work.
Common Internet withdrawal symptoms include anger, tension, and depression when Internet access is not available. These symptoms may be perceived as boredom, joylessness, moodiness, nervousness, and irritability when you can’t go on the computer.
Who the hell have I become?
I cannot sit in silence and just enjoy life?
‘No, we can’t!’ the voice inside me pleads, ‘We have so many books and podcasts to listen to, pictures to like and posts to judge and criticize. We do not have the time for silent reflection, unless we are listening to our Headspace app, which tracks how many hours of meditation we have logged this year.”
If it is not liked, logged, tracked or published, is it worth my time?
I now know exactly who I have become and I am scared to admit it.
I have become the person, who cannot go for a walk, without a newly downloaded podcast or audiobook. I am the person, who loathes elevators because my internet connection drops off, so I would rather take the stairs. I am the person, who checks my Instagram photos, until at least ten people like it, so that I can let out a sigh of relief that my life is meaningful.
God, it is so depressing to write out and admit.
For the last two days, I have had to sit and reflect with my own thoughts.
It is scary. It is scary how rarely we are completely alone.
I wonder, when I have the guts to do it, and what my entire day without technology will be like. I am scared, but optimistic, because it certainly will not be today or tomorrow, but I better get on it soon.
Technology….is she our friend or foe?