Friday, 2 September 2016

Going Without a Mobile

Going Without a MobileIn this technological age, we've come to rely on technology so much that it's almost automatic to reach out for our phone or our laptop without a second thought. But on Tuesday I realised just how attached I had become.

My Mum and I went out to a preview movie screening on Tuesday. Because it was a preview screening, we were told we wouldn't be allowed mobiles in the cinema, and as neither of us wanted to hand our phones in, we decided to leave them at home.

But the prospect of spending most of the day without my phone on me was a daunting one. Laura wrote earlier this year about having to go without the internet for a few weeks, but when it came down to it, it wasn't so much that I would be without my email, Twitter, or Instagram that worried me, but the simple fact that I wouldn't have a way to contact anyone.

I'm a bit of a worrier, and have often been told that I think and/or worry too much, and this was the case on Tuesday. I was genuinely a little scared to leave the house without my phone. The one day I leave the house without my phone is the one day I'm going to need it, I was sure. Well, not sure, but that was the worry. Anything could happen. And while my phone wouldn't necessarily stop bad things from happening, but at least I'd be able to try and phone someone and ask for help, or let them know I was ok. Without my phone, I felt very alone and completely cut off.

The other not as important by equally annoying thing about not having our phones with us was not knowing the time. Neither of us having working watches, and so we've come to rely on our phones to know what the time is when we're out on about. When you have to be somewhere at a specific time and have no way of knowing what the time is, it's really bloody frustrating. I was so much more aware of how long things were taking, the walk, eating my food, and so on, worrying they were taking too long. We were actually fine as we left pretty early, but I did feel lost not knowing what the time was.

As I said, I wasn't too bothered about checking my email or Twitter or Instagram, but there were a few moments when not having immediate access to the internet, like I'm used to, was a little jolting. Occasionally, I wanted to look something up, when I wasn't quite sure of something I was talking about with Mum - the title of a book, the name of an actress. I saw a statue I would have quite liked to Instagram, but no camera nor internet access. It was only slightly annoying, nowhere near as frustrating as I thought it would be, and that itself made me think. I realised I spent more time looking up than looking down and noticing more about my surroundings than I would have if my phone was on me. I didn't really mind not having access to those apps, and the world didn't end because I wasn't checking or updating them. Perhaps - dare I even say it? - perhaps I can live without those apps.

I'm one of those people who can remember a time when hardly anyone had mobile phones. We got by fine. We never worried about not being able to contact people, there were phone boxes if we needed them. I remember when my brother and I were allowed half an hour online a week each, on a Sunday, the sound of the modem as it dial up to connect to the internet, before there was broadband. When it wasn't available, we managed perfectly well. But now, we're so used to having such things ready at our fingertips, to be without them is a shock to the system.

Perhaps we could all do with leaving our mobiles at home every now and again?

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