Addicted to Your Mobile Phone – Crime… or Reality?

You know you are having a bad day… when you drop your phone into the toilet. Boom! Out of the window go all your plans for the rest of the day. What else can you think about? Nothing. Absolutely nothing…. But what phone you should buy now!

I was actually having a really good day: the weather was gorgeous, so I took the kids to this amazing park, wore them out so they are fast asleep nice and early, and was so looking forward to sitting at the computer with a glass of wine (cider, actually, to be more precise) and writing for my blog. I was going to thank all those lovely people who’ve decided to dedicate a few minutes of their days to what I had to say to them… To say how proud I am of having over 300 views over the first week of my (brand new!) blog. And give them heads up about what is coming onto my blog, and how excited I am about it all.

Bummer. Now all I can do is mourn about my phone. Or, shall I say, what used to be my phone. And admit, mind you, not for a first time, that I am totally addicted to it. Yup, junkie.

I witnessed two so-called social experiments recently. Two friends of mine declared their addiction to mobile phones and went cold turkey. One of them went back on Facebook within a week: obviously did not stand up to the challenge. The other one, though, is totally happy with a crappy old phone, only capable of making phone calls and sending texts. She enjoys her, what she calls, freedom so much that she would never think of buying a smart phone again. Huh. Am I missing out on life’s excitement somehow… looking at my phone rather than what goes on around me?

I found out the answer to this soon enough. Through no choice of mine, I was subjected to the same experience recently – having to use only a basic phone. Twice. As my volume key broke, I had to leave my phone at a phone repair shop, and then a week later do it again. ‘Sorry, sister, I haven’t got the part, but if you come back tomorrow, we will have fixed it for you’. Seconds of silent shock. ‘What?? You want me to leave you my phone… for a whole day??’  He must be taking the piss. Totally. How would I survive without my phone?

I did. But felt uneasy and definitely not happy. Totally hated it. Not having the whole world at the tips of my fingers felt weird. And uncomfortable. My ebay auctions were expiring, but I had to go back home and switch my computer on to check whether the buyers had paid, and then again to write down their address to post my items to. Things I would have done within seconds on my phone. I had to pay to park my car in the old-fashioned way, making sure I had enough coins – while I could have just texted. All life’s little inconveniences shone through, as if to say, we now live in 21st century where no effort is needed.

And this is why I think I am innocent. What exactly is wrong with relying on your phone… On technology? This is what it is for: making our life easier. It is, after all, busy enough as it is. If you can cut a few corners, why not. If this saves you time you could spend on something else.

Second time around (when I had to take the phone back to that shop) I actually felt OK about it… Somehow, though, life went back a decade ago, when everything you had to do was put on hold until you had access to a PC. Yes, I did spend more time looking at the world around me. But, then, I would have done the same with my phone – and would have taken better photos of what surrounded me. Shall I admit it, though: there was a twist! I managed to get that old phone… to… bloody work on Facebook! So, as long as I was able to check the basic stuff on Facebook, I was happy. I wasn’t missing out on my friend’s news, I got all the messages I was waiting for, and everything in the world somehow seemed right. As long as had exact change for the parking machine, that is!

So, am I addicted to my phone… or to Facebook? Which, as much as I hate to admit it, you actually can live without. Although now that I have a blog, I have a very valid reason to use Facebook regularly. After all, this seems to be the best way to promote what you write.

And, still, I have to put my hand up and say: Yup, I am… addicted. Not sure what to, exactly, but I am. And join the… Anonymous, huh, phone/Facebook addicts.

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