I’d like to be able to say that I’m the sort of person that can go cold-turkey without a mobile phone. That I can drop social media at a drop of a hat and return to my beautiful life to increase my productivity.
But that’s not me.
My phone died on a Saturday morning before I went out for a rare weekend break away with my sisters which involved a long drive. To say I was annoyed about my unresponsive phone would be an understatement. I’d been unceremoniously flung back to the dark ages with a black screen of death.
I tried all the tricks in the book to bring it back to life but nothing worked. It got to the point where I had to send my phone off as O2 agreed with my prognosis.
Sending my phone away
The instructions said to pop it into a box, add the label and post it off. Well. I didn’t have a box – surprising considering I’ve only just moved. But all of my boxes are far too big for a mobile to be floating in.
So I first tried to wrap my phone in bubble wrap… Only I had accidentally let the air out by cutting it down to size (it was the sort that isn’t individual bubbles). So I just ended out wrapping it in a layer of plastic, followed by a box that I had to fashioned out of a bigger sweet box. Let’s just say that my finished attempt wouldn’t make it onto Blue Peter. I even threw in some packing whatsits just to make sure it was safe.
I honestly don’t know what the guys who receive my package will make of it.
Saying goodbye to my phone was both ceremonious and devastating. I feel like I’ve lost a part of me that can’t be replaced… okay, it could be replaced with a shiny new one. I watch other people staring at their phones and it just reminds me that I don’t have mine. I’m missing out.
It feels so unhealthy to be so emotionally attached to it. It gives me no greater joy out of life, but does connect me to the world. Within a few seconds I can know that ‘that man’ on ‘that programme’ was also in CSI Miami – that’s where I knew him from. Or I can conquer the next level of Candy Crush and check my emails in seconds without having to log in or check.
I can also obsessively check Facebook, delete my spam mail and scroll through tweet after tweet. Sure… I spend too much time on my phone. Don’t we all? In fact an average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. I’m sure I spend more than that. Or at least I did when I had a phone.
But going cold turkey is a wake up call. It’s made me realise how much time I really spend on my phone when I could be doing other things.
When I look back years from now, I’m not going to remember that great game of Candy Crush. I’m not going to remember that great update I read on Facebook. Nobody on their death bed is ever going to say “I really regret not spending more time on my phone”.
No, I’ll regret spending that time on my phone rather than doing things, making memories.
Missing my phone
What I miss most at the minute are the useful things about having a smartphone. Being able to flick through photos of Georgia while she sleeps (okay, not so useful but every parent does this right??). Being able to take photos through the day to capture her new and funny moments at a whim. Being able to chat to my friends and family on messenger without my bulky laptop. Being instantly connected to information without that frustration of not being able to figure out who that flippin’ person was in that movie – okay, not a necessity either but saves me dreaming about it and waking up shouting a random name.
Let’s be realistic. I’m not going to give up my phone forever. I love social media. I love sharing pictures of Georgia and I love how quickly I can do things. But what I will be doing when it is finally returned to me is to spend less time doing nothing on it.
Imagine how productive I could become…! Only time will tell if I’ll slip back into old habits but I’m going to try my hardest to focus on only using it for the positives going forward.