I didn’t think I was dependent on my phone. I thought I was an independent being. Occasionally I will turn off my phone or leave it in the other room to prove this to myself. And those moments are enjoyable. I like the relaxation. I like knowing that I don’t have to be tied to people who want to talk to me 24/7. It’s like I can create my own little quiet oasis in this internet-of-things world that I can escape into and let my mind reset.
But then I lost my phone and couldn’t get it back for an entire day. It was the worst. I tried to treat it like a normal oasis but it wasn’t. I was fretful. I kept thinking about it. I kept reaching for it. I would be reading or writing with half my attention and thinking about not having my phone with the other. I even dreamed about it like it was the worst sort of nightmare. It was like a part of me has been removed.
How could people get in touch with me? I didn’t let people know about it on Facebook or Twitter even though I have a very nice laptop. What if someone wanted to get in touch with me to see how I was? What if my mom needed my help with something? What if I got a limited time offer through my email that I didn’t check on my laptop?
I didn’t. I got my phone back. I charged it. I turned it on. No calls. No Facebook chats. No texts. No snaps. No necessary emails. Just junk. Like I felt.
What’s worse, I felt afraid of my phone for a little bit. Like it was different. Like I would find something wrong with it and that would cause the world to literally end. Or that if I did something wrong it would leave me again.
So here I am. Wondering a little bit about who I am as a person. Patting my phone as if soothing it. Thinking about everyone who didn’t contact me when I couldn’t respond. Coming up with stupid things like, “New phone, who dis? Forget that. Who am I?” If you understand then we can hold hands and try to ignore the oncoming existential crisis together.