Since I’ve no desire to sleep just yet, I figured I’d blog instead. I’ve spent the weekend without my dearest possession, my cell phone. It was stolen last week, and it takes some time to get a replacement for the new iPhone (I’ll leave my rant about not having enough product to meet demand for another day).
The first thing I noticed was the lack of worry. Whether it’s my concern over the ringer being turned on, if my phone is close enough that I can hear it, or whether I’ve left it upstairs or down, the constant need to be aware of where my phone is has been a blessed subtraction from my life. I cannot roll over in the morning and check the weather, be distracted by Facebook updates, or irritated by texting noises. I cannot check in anywhere, record my workouts (which suffered as a result — I am apparently motivated by apps), take pictures of my kitchen concoctions (mock away), or offer droll observations about daily life (no doubt you’ve missed me.)
The other bit I noticed was that my instincts still exist. Having a GPS at the ready has eliminated my need for county maps and planning. However, when I went to file my police report, I’d no idea where the state police barracks were located. Turns out, there are handy signs on the road, so as long as I had a general idea (I did), I could follow the the handy signage. I also had a plan — should I not be able to find it, I could :gasp: stop and ask for directions at a local gas station. Imagine such a feat?!
I also enjoyed just hiding out from the world at large. While I’m someone who loves being connected (I’m typing from the laptop by my bed, as opposed to the iPad in the kitchen, or my desktop in the dining room), the stress of “needing” to be connected was removed by a fault not my own. There’s a freedom in that. It reminded me of learning to drive as a teenager. The pure joy of being on the road, unhindered by deadlines or another’s desires. I drove a 1984 Toyota Corolla (this was 1994) that was often worse for the wear. Yet I never worried about it breaking down or needing to find help. Cell phones were just coming into vogue, but for the most part, we depended on each other — society — for our needs and assistance, rather than our interconnectedness. I can’t help but wonder: were we richer as a result?
I jokingly commented on Facebook that I wouldn’t mind going without my phone permanently, except that after a few days being forced to rely on local radio for my music, I refuse to give up Pandora for my musical needs. But I question the true advancement of technology and its effect on us as a society: are we heading towards a bright new future, or to our own doom, a result of our inability to rely on ourselves and our comrades in times of need and celebration, instead turning to a cold, digital realm of careless words and inhuman nurturing?