Have you ever gone without your phone for a week? Either by choice as a detox, on holiday when you forgot the charger or post music festival when you arrive home in a confused blaze wondering if the contents of your bag were flung across the heads of thousands of revellers in a moment of high jinx or if in fact some a-hole of the highest order, pilfered your belongings while you were in said moment of high jinx. (We think it may have been both).
I have been phoneless since last Saturday night when we realised towards the end of a great night at Electric Picnic that I was missing most of the items from my bag. The implications of losing my expensive piece of Steve Jobs offspring has been widespread.
First, there was the inability to contact my mother who had custody of the kids for the weekend. Being cut off from your children is movie worthy. I was VERY sad about it. Yes I could borrow someone else’s phone but I hated not being able to text or call or be at the end of a line within seconds. My phone was like a physical connection to them.
The second ‘oh feck’ phoneless drama happened on my way out of the festival. I decided to abandon the husband to Elbow and the Rubberbandits (big fan) and drive home myself. It wasn’t the original plan but I was missing the kids terribly and our daughter was starting playschool the next morning. I merrily sailed across the field of cars slipping and sliding a bit in the mud when the Volkswagen came to a slow stop and refused to move forward or back. Miles from the festival entrance. Alone, just me, in a van, in a field.
I did as all damsels in distress do and made my way towards a group of strange men to ask for help. Thankfully one kind country gentleman obliged and I was on my way in no time, pretty drama free until the van became stuck again. With all the grit of a hungover, phoneless, already rescued mama, I grinded the gears till the vehicle rutted itself forward and when I got moving again, I drove right over a traffic cone to get out onto the open road. Like the wild west I tell ya.
When I got home and cuddled the heads off the children I discovered our house phone was broken. I took out the ipad as a tool to Facetime / message the immediates and looked at the 5% battery remaining. The charger was in the van. Which was now back at my mother’s house.
I fretted that something would happen the children or there would be an emergency in the night and I had absolutely no way to reach out to family should I need to. I don’t think Daddy does Skype. And I’m not sure of Granny Cassidy’s Facebook messenger skills.
Not to worry, I said, piling the tots into my bed for a giant post festival cuddle. We’ll put on a bit of Netflix and forget about Mammy’s hangover. I reached for my phone which I have set up as our only remote control to operate Netflix and… oh yeah. Sorry kids.
Bedtime. Rushing around to get things in order for the morning. Thinking how lovely it was going to be to hit the hay and revel in waking up with my children beside me again. Reach for my phone to set my alarm and… oh yeah. Sorry Mammy.
I had to stay awake most of the night in case I slept it. And I had to go downstairs at intervals to check how far we had crept towards morning because, yep, my phone is also my time keeping tool.
So, were there any positives in my week away from my phone? (It took a week because we needed to make sure that it didn’t turn up in Electric Picnic’s lost and found and due to some other technical issues, not least of all which was the trying to fund the cost of a new iphone).
There were some. I did feel a sense of calm developing during the week. I wasn’t contactable. It wasn’t a bad thing. I felt a bit of freedom – a bit of, hey I’ll be back when I’m back. I took to bringing magazines and books with me everywhere I went and actually enjoying reading them. I was definitely a bit more zen. The tug of the mobile, aching to checked, almost gone.
I say almost. The truth is I pined for my phone and hated being apart from it. It’s so much more than an accessory. It’s part of who I am. My connection to the world – my sense of self.
And maybe that’s sad, but hey, it’s the 2017 person I am.
Yesterday I finally got back to phone land with a second hand refurbished piece of kit that looks good as new. Due to the wonders of icloud technology I was back up and running within minutes and it was though me and the old phone had never been apart.
Within an hour I had taken a phone call from my best friend wondering ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?
She was the only person to contact me during the week.
Looks like I missed being cut off far more than the world missed me.
The one lesson coming out of this whole lost mobile saga?
Phone insurance. On speed dial. Oh yes.