My heart was broken this weekend as the result of a tragic loss. My mood took a downward turn and I felt almost empty. I had a little cry, I had moments of anger, I desperately longed for the feeling to go away, for just one more moment with that which was gone. I hugged my kids to make me feel better, soaking up all of their love and allowing it to heal me.
Ok, I’m going to put this into perspective. I dropped my phone down the toilet. And then I lost it. Not down the toilet, though. No, I dropped the damn phone down the toilet (slipped out of my back pocket) and naturally I plunged my hand straight into the bowl and raised my arm triumphantly, trousers round my ankles! It continued to work for about 5 minutes until eventually dying. I tried leaving it in rice overnight to soak up the moisture (although it turns out I had already doomed it to certain death everlasting by plugging it into the charger) to no avail. And then, once acceptance had almost kicked in, I handed the dead brick to Amelia with the words;
“Here, it’s broken, you can have it to play with”.
And that was the last time I saw it.
I went out to get a new phone, brought it home and triumphantly extricated it from its box, plugged it into my computer and began the set-up process. About half-way through, I realised that I needed at least the sim card from my old phone in order to seamlessly migrate all of my apps, data and music onto the new phone, and to be able to log into my AppleID (I won’t go into the details of two-factor verification but rest assured without the broken device or at least access to the phone number connected to that device I am basically screwed). So now I’ve wasted another day searching my house for a broken phone so that I can get the sim card out of it! In hindsight, I’m pretty sure that, having been told it was broken, Amelia probably put it in the bin, which obviously has been emptied since I gave it to her.
Again, I’m going to put this into perspective. I can get a replacement sim for my provider in a couple of days, or I can request ID recovery from Apple which takes a few days too, both of which will allow me to gain access to all of my lost data and contacts, but I WANT IT NOW!
So far, it has been about 32 hours without all of the mobile phone mod-cons to which I am accustomed, and it is killing me. I haven’t been able to take any pictures for an entire day, check my mail at the touch of a button, jot down notes for my blog while walking down the street, scroll through Instagram for a mood lift, tweet while standing at the cooker, or change the channel on the TV without having to use the actual remote (where is that?!) 32 hours of reaching for my phone instinctively at every turn before remembering that it’s no there, or at least the function I want isn’t there. And the thought of waiting days before I can access any of this again makes me want to curl up and hibernate until it is over.
The last 32 hours have made me seriously evaluate my relationship with my phone and, I suppose, social media. I say this because quite often I read about social media addictions, but I am not so much addicted to social media as to my phone in general. I mean, I use my phone for everything imaginable; calendar reminders, taking pictures, banking, blogging, shopping, watching and creating films and videos, listening to music, tracking my workouts, changing the channel on the TV, checking train and bus times, and paying for things – my phone is my bank card, my credit card, my loyalty card(s), my alarm clock and my radio. My phone is even where I order my morning coffee. Oh, and I communicate with it too, you know in the traditional ways.
And even as I am writing this I realise that list only scratches the surface of what I use my phone for, and I don’t believe that I am alone in this. Yes, handset designers have created devices to which we have become inseparable from, dependent upon even, but we have allowed ourselves to be sucked in.
The end of this post might not be exactly what you expect I have been leading up to, because I could not be further away from disowning my phone! Yes, this experience (and the many before it because, believe it or not, these kind of phone related tragedies happen to me ALOT!) has made me more aware of my addiction, and yes it might make me tone down the screen time a little bit. But I am also fully aware that in this tech mad world I would be a fool to think I could get through everyday life without it. Technology is a huge part of our lives, and of our children’s lives and futures, and I believe that keeping up with it is important. Mood swings when it’s taken away for a day, however, is not cool. I’m going to work on that!
So I’m (almost) reunited with my phone, and I am taking steps to protect my miniature world (indestructible case, insurance etc), and I am every bit attached to my new phone as I was the old one. I have mourned the loss and moved on, and there is no chance of this mama switching off!