We’ve all seen the self-righteous claims of people who have voluntarily gone tech-free and talk about how wonderfully fulfilling their lives became as a result. Don’t worry: this is not one of those articles. This article is about me, and how I gave up my phone involuntarily. A girl who gets a little bit giddy with every ding indicating a new text. A girl who always leaves on the setting for the phone to vibrate when a new e-mail comes in. Ladies and gentlemen, I am that girl.
- So, full disclosure: I didn’t really give up my phone. More like, my phone gave up on me. Here’s what happened when my phone shattered into a million pieces on my apartment floor and it took me two weeks to get a new one because I’m cheap and have a crazy guilt complex:
- My social life totally fell apart. Most of my planning for social outings these days takes place through WhatsApp and group texts. So when my friend bought a giant trampoline and had an awesome party to celebrate, I didn’t know until I had already missed it. I also missed a bunch of other outings that I just didn’t find out about because I couldn’t get to my phone.
- I started to get morbid thoughts about dying alone with my cat. Didn’t people think it was weird that I wasn’t responding to their conversations where they making plans? Did they really just not notice that I was totally silent on the message chain? What if I had died or something? Why wasn’t anyone asking if I was ok? How long would it take them to notice?
- I realized nobody actually reads those Facebook messages about lost phones. Maybe Facebook’s mysterious algorithm for which post go to the top of someone’s newsfeed just wasn’t interested in my phone troubles. Or maybe people just don’t read posts that aren’t pictures of weddings and babies. Or maybe I just don’t have as many friends as I think I do. Either way, people didn’t seem to realize that I lost my phone until I told them in person.
- I learned who really had my back. There were just two people that did notice. One was a friend checking in after I didn’t show up for a couple group outings in a row. The other volunteered to be my socialization wingman, telling me she’d send me a Facebook message any time there was something going on. I loved her for it and made a mental note that I owed her a drink.
- I realized that my being flaky doesn’t help the problem. Fine, I’ll say it. I have tendencies to kind of be the flaky friend. As in, I’ll-ghost-you-and-suddenly-reappear-into-your-life-a-month-later flaky.It’s not like I do it mindfully. I just kind of disappear sometimes. I’m independent and a little neurotic and I like a lot of alone time. So I think people just assumed I was avoiding contact when I wasn’t.
- I had to plan in advance more than I had ever done in the past. Ok, so my friend and I are going to meet at the mall. But wait, where at the mall? Which entrance? On the left side or the right? NO, I CAN’T JUST TEXT YOU WHEN I’M THERE. Jeez, thanks for rubbing it in.
I finally admitted that I’m kind of addicted to my phone. But you know what? Sure, being addicted to your phones has its downsides. But if my addiction is something that helps me be friendly, social, well-informed, and communicative, I’m ok with that.
Now excuse me, please, but I need to go. I’ve got a text waiting.