Love may have been in the air this weekend but not necessarily between me and my android Smartphone. Yes, I’ve been shoved into the noisy techno world of oncoming traffic, reluctantly but necessarily if I want to be able to function in this world.
My motto of “Don’t jump in if you don’t want to jump out,” safeguarded me for awhile. Doing what everyone else does “because that’s what everyone else is doing” is not me. Such reasoning conjures up images of Guyana Kool-Aid, the Hale-Bopp Comet deaths, and sheep blindly following sheep…to the slaughter house rather than sweet dreams. Years of friends chuckling at my dinosaur flip phone mattered little to me. I didn’t have a monthly cell bill, and my landline and answering machine worked just fine. Yes, I did say, “answering machine.” Digital at least. Not cassette…
But now, now I’ve re-entered the Smartphone arena that feels like bulls charging me from all sides. I say “re-entered” because I had my first date with a Smartphone nine months ago. I needed a phone I could use while traveling in Scotland. TracFone couldn’t do that so I invested in a Mobal phone with 30-day risk-free UK plan to give it a go. Here’s how it went:
May 23, 2019 – First Date, First Impressions
“This is going to make your trip so awesome,” friends said.
I nodded my head in agreement while silently hiding my suspicion.
Downloading, typing, typing, typing.
“If you have a few minutes, could you show me how to….?”
“There’s no standardization. All phones are different.”
Researching how to this, how to that, how to, how to…
Downloading, specifying, protecting, not understanding, flashing
all the time.
No wonder so many are on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds. My blood pressure is up a good 10 points.
Downloading, warning, memory low on resources, black
Now what do I do?
Worrying, fretting, exhausted. Too much to lose.
I always thought why would I trust a device to hold ALL of my vitals?
Tech support (via landline).
Deleting, deleting, uninstalling, removing. “Is it safe?”
Oh, this has not been a pleasant first experience.
Is it really going to get better after this?
Day 2 or is it the second week…or how long have I had this thing?
This intrusive device had to be silenced so I could get some sleep.
Do I really need this?
I haven’t even taken this to Scotland or put it to real use. Already I need to clear my head.
An owl hoots in the distance. Or, is he echoing from this end?
I hear whinnying like a horse. I walk closer to see if I can see it, otherwise, I’ll have to ask Google…
The magnificent hawk glides through the sun rays of this happy blue sky.
I feel free.
I feel in the moment.
There is no tension in my being
just the push and pull as I stride up the hill
to be OUTSIDE.
June 5, 2019 – We’re Not Getting Along
I call a Scotland Lyft. No availability.
I pick up the landline. A Black Cab arrives.
Getting off the train platform in Stirling, which way to go?
The font is tiny. I cannot read the directions.
Thank goodness for my printed copies of Mapquest
and the helpful elderly woman who guides me to a local breakfast joint.
e-mail arrives. The sitter reports my beloved dog Bess is walking around the pond, playing, eating, doing okay.
June 6, 2019 – Ceased and Deceased
5-hour European time delays. No communication.
11PM e-mail arrives. My dog is dead. She’s been euthanized.
Trying to make contact, the Mobal phone is also dead.
Did I forget to charge it?
Returning home, the phone goes back in the box. Service ceased.
And so has my involvement with a Smartphone. I think.
How Do You Do?
In gearing up for the National Day of Unplugging, which may soon become my favorite holiday, I’m reflecting on my Smartphone transition thus far. Being a gardener and feeling alive when outdoors and in nature, I’ve resisted using a device particularly when observing how vastly it is changing our lives, our vocabulary, our thoughts, communication, lifestyle and even human physical attributes (think eyesight, thumbs, memory, and prefrontal cortex).
This concerns me. And while I’ve resisted, it grows increasingly difficult to operate without a device. Do you “consciously” think about Smartphone use — for yourself and the world at large? How do you spend your time, are you more at ease, more productive with it? Have you found the benefits (aka “conveniences”) outweigh the intrusion? I’d love to know how you manage your device, or if it controls you.
Surely, I’m not the only one getting into the tech game at this late stage. I wonder, did you have a similar experience to mine, or did you jump right in and swim? (I can float but water over my head is not relaxing and probably tied to my HSP tendencies.) Was there ever a time in your life when you didn’t have a Smartphone and can you recall what that felt like? Are you a Digital Diva, growing up with a Smartphone in your hand…or like me, from the mountainous countryside where life is quiet, simple, and maybe 10 years behind the times?
Here’s a worthy alert for your phone on March 6, 2020. Beginning at sundown on the first Friday in March, the annual National Day of Unplugging will run 24 hours until sundown on March 7th. Try it. See how you feel… Truly, I’d love to hear if it makes a difference in your being.
Feature photo by Jason Tharsiman on Unsplash