I’ve just been a week without my smart phone. Okay that’s not a huge deal, but it sort of is at this day/age. I quite happily sent it away for a repair and embraced not being connected to the internet all of the time. I had already weaned myself off some of the habits I’d picked up, such as using my phone as an alarm clock and checking it one more time before bed.
There were only two things I missed over the week. One was calling my Mother. I don’t have a landline so she was unable to call me. The other was being able to answer every burning question immediately. I had gotten really used to stopping in the middle of anything to google the answer to whatever had caught my attention at that time. Apparently Brian Cox really does smile all of the time and there is a forum thread dedicated to the discussion.
I really had to become comfortable with not being sure what time Co op closes, and weighing up if I should go anyway and be that person with their nose to the door trying to figure out if the lights are still on. Firing up a laptop to find out the answers to such questions seemed excessive, so I held back and watched my brain resort to “So I won’t know the answer to that just yet. . . and that’s ok”. I felt a strange sort of peace by not being on the eternal quest for knowledge.
Today my phone was delivered back, fixed up. I looked at it like it was a piece of alien technology that we hadn’t quite reverse engineered yet. I straight away saw that I needed to sort it out, get things in folders, upload my contacts etc and realised that I had a big job to do to get it up to speed again. My Twitter wasn’t set up to automatically sign in, and the app wasn’t on there. I didn’t attempt any of this and just threw it in my bag with no desire to launch back into that world just yet.
Then later came that moment, where you are really stunned at what this does to your life. I was speaking to someone I had just met, and then seconds later they turned around to pull their garden trolley. Flashes of images came to me, how amazing this trolley could be to my life, the millions of uses it could have for me. I queried him about it and whipped my phone out. Within less than a minute I had found the supplier, cost, estimated delivery, colour options and how popular it was in reviews. My new friend fell silent. I had zeroed into every detail about this trolley with the speed of a meteor, using this thin piece of metal and plastic. I suddenly didn’t want this ability. It was great that I had the answer, but the magic had gone. This was no longer a mystical garden trolley that I had just discovered, and that had untold uses and quirks that I could spend time finding out. This was item 0956492 for £66.92 which John from Banbury felt was an excellent addition to his shed. It grew cold.
So, I’m going to take another step away from my smartphone. And remind myself that in this last week I had read more than I have done since Winter. I’ll allow life to become a mystery once more, unless I’m stuck in an unknown place in need of GPS to find the nearest Starbucks.