You never realize how much you take something for granted until you lose it. I had a rude awakening to this truth when my smartphone decided to go on the blink a few days ago.
1. I was an hour late to work
Unaware of the looming fate of my phone, I plugged it into the charger one innocent night, alarm set. The next morning, I woke with a start, MUCH later than expected. My phone was flashing the home screen; utterly inoperable. Carpool had come and gone as I scrambled to work in my roommate’s car (bless her heart). With no way of telling my boss what the heck happened while on my way to the office, I sheepishly walked in an hour late.
That evening I purchased an alarm clock.
2. My parents believed I had gone missing
I am a relatively independent young adult, and my parents don’t tend towards helicopter parent behavior. However, I did inform them via email, that I could not be reached via phone. One evening, after an email exchange with my father in which we both responded quite quickly, as one would in a texting conversation, I signed off saying “Anyways, I need to run and catch the bus home, talk to you later.”
Indeed, I did run and catch the bus home. I read a book on the porch and went to bed. I didn’t check any sort of technology all night, mostly because keeping my laptop as handy as a phone proves cumbersome.
Next morning, I awoke to my alarm clock, caught my carpool, and arrived at work to find a back log of emails from both my mother and my father.
The first email offered me a ride home as opposed to taking the bus from the wrong end of town at 9 pm. The last coming at 8 am with a plea to check my email soon because they were very worried.
I will save you the accounts of increasingly urgent emails that were sent that night, but one in the very early morning read, “texted (insert roommate’s name) and she hadn’t seen you as of midnight, we are getting concerned.”
I hadn’t seen that roommate either, I was reading a book on the porch and went to bed.
When I borrowed a coworker’s phone that morning to inform my mother I was alive, she sleepily told me she needed to call off my father on his way to my house.
3. I got stood up (or I thought I did)
When a friend and I wanted to grab happy hour, we had to plan it THAT MORNING – when I had a laptop and WIFI – instead of touching base after work. We established a where and a when, but she got caught in traffic. I entertained myself while waiting at our table by reading that book I was reading on the porch and wondering when I should assume she wasn’t coming. Forty minutes later, she did.
We had a great time.
4. I got very lost downtown and lived to tell about it
Without my phone’s navigation system I asked myself, “Do I need to write down directions to these locations?”
The answer was: “Nah….”
So off I went downtown until I remembered, too late, a major freeway closed for construction that weekend. Around and around I drove, seeing my destination in the city skyline, but unsure how to avoid the one-way streets.
I made it, but this time my friends assumed I stood them up.
5. I made people uncomfortable asking the time
Meeting friends requires knowing what time it is. If I was out and about with no clock in sight, I’d smile at a passerby and ask if they had the time on them. They looked at me as if I was asking what year it was and pulled out their phones to tell me. I started revising my question and would say, “Excuse me, my phone is dead, do you happen to know the time?”
My next purchase is a watch.
I wish I could say the death of my smartphone made me much more productive or caused me to get more rest, but I can’t. I still found ways to throw away my time, (although, I did get a lot more reading done).
But what I did learn, however, is that adapting to a new way of life is sometimes more difficult for others who don’t understand my new intentional attitude. I am going at a different pace from them, and as a result, I’m the square peg in a round hole.
I prided myself in being reasonable with my phone use, after all, I only had a smartphone for a year before it broke. But in my year with this smartphone, I’ve shaped my habits around it much more than I thought. Going without one inconveniences me daily, but I must remember that I survived perfectly well without one only a year ago.
If it’s really going to cost me as much as they say it will to fix my smartphone, I might keep up my ways and revert to the dumb phone.
Is it fair to say that such a move is actually a smart idea?