I’m old enough to remember a time before mobile phones.
I remember making plans with friends and trusting that they would be where they said they’d be and at the time they said they’d be there.
I remember taking photos on a camera, taking the film to Boots the Chemist and waiting a week for the film to be developed to finally see the pictures. And there wasn’t a picture of my dinner amongst them.
I remember the abject horror of phoning a friend (or worse a crush) and having their parents answer the phone.
I remember checking Ceefax on the TV to see what the most up to date news was.
I remember having a Sony Walkman to listen to music on the go.
I remember gazing out the window on train and bus trips watching the world go by.
I remember spending hours writing letters to pen-pals.
I remember the main way of finding out if someone liked you (friend or otherwise) was by sending a little note to them saying “Do you like me? Yes [tick box] No [tick box]”
I remember entertaining myself for hours reading a book, out on my bike, walking the dog, anything other than scrolling…
You’re probably reading this on your mobile phone right now. Did you get an email about my latest post? Did it come up in your WordPress Reader? Did you spot it while browsing through Twitter? Did it come up as one of many notifications that ‘ping’ your phone every day?
I love my phone. I really do. But it’s taken over now. It’s the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I see at night. It’s always with me and for what? I survived until I was 18 without having a phone. Without being instantly available to everyone. Without being in constant contact with the outside world.
But it’s time for a break…
It’s not you, phone, it’s me. You are everything to me. You’re my alarm clock, my radio, my music, my books, my Facebook, my Twitter, my Snapchat, my Instagram. You’re my bank, my Starbucks coffee, my Amazon account, my Paypal. You look after my photos, my emails, my texts and my What’s App. You run my life and you’re ruining my life.
You ping, you vibrate, you beep. You demand my attention 24/7. I’ve tried turning you off but what if someone really needs me? What if I miss the latest news? What if an email comes through that needs an immediate response?
So what if it does?
I’m cutting you off phone. I’m distancing myself from you… we need some time apart.
I’m silencing your social media notifications, I’m putting you on lockdown. For a week you’re not going to beep at me asking me to answer you immediately… you’re going to play by my rules and to my set times. I’ll use you as a phone, I’ll let you tell me when I have a text. But anything else will just have to wait.
I need some time alone.
Disclaimer: No, I’ve not lost the plot, don’t worry! From Monday 8th October for a week I will not be using my phone to access the internet or social media. I will still be around but only when I fire up our decrepit old laptop or venture to the library. I’ll post on Monday 15th with how I got on with this little experiment!