I knew I was accustomed to being tethered at all times to my telephone, but since the death of the Samsung GalaxyS3 on Friday, I have come to understand just how severely addicted I am. I’m talking 12-Step Program required. I’m talking DTs and panic attacks. I’m talking, I really need to get a life.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day in my batcave; forcing myself to do maintenance type tasks I’d long been putting off, like cleaning out drawers, and working my way through piles of old “to be read” or “partially read” or “read again later” magazines and newspapers. I made a dent, though not much of one (I confess – I am a printed matter hoarder) but I just could NOT stand having a day during which I had nowhere to be spent in such things: I wanted to be reading my books!
But, what I’ve left out is how much time I wasted opening my laptop – obsessively – every hour (okay, every half hour) to check whether or not I had been contacted by anyone (okay, every fifteen minutes) since my phone – set to alert me when I am e-mailed, Tweeted, G-Mailed, Texted, etcetera – has died (okay, I had my laptop within reach all day and kept refreshing every time screen threatened to go blank.)
Now look, I am NOT that popular. I have cultivated a few EXTREMELY wonderful, close friends and I see them regularly and I send out a sort of e-mail newsletter to them a few times a week, convinced they give a damn which of the others I’ve seen and what I’ve done, and we all stay in touch. But we don’t text obsessively or spend all day back and forthing. There are days at a time where there are no E-G-Mail-Text-Tweet-anythings. BUT IF THERE ARE, I HEAR THE BEEP (or cheep, or waterfall or . . . ) and somehow, the possibility I might MISS a message – I was like a crack-whore in detox. AWFUL.
I could just barely focus ALL DAY LONG.
Ended up heading out to Sue and family’s for dinner/evening and the weirdness of NOT having my phone – and, further – being away from my laptop so I couldn’t check ANYTHING – was just – well, disturbing. Un-nerving. And the weirder I felt, the weirder I felt. I was actually NERVOUS driving the twenty minutes to their home because I did not have a phone. What if something happened? What if I got a flat?
(None of which took away from the sort of MARVELOUS evening I had with my dear G-fam, especially fun having Megan home from college for the weekend. And Sue showed me a book she’d had “made” of her Instagram shots from the past year, all hardback bound and such and I was all, “There’s not ONE DAMN PIC of me in there!” And she was all, “You have a fit whenever anyone takes your picture, let alone posts it anywhere.” And I was all, “LIAR!” And she was all, “Megan, sit with Charlie.” And then WOULD NOT stop until I smiled in all the pics!)
So, okay, good time aside, I begin to worry about those people I know who I see only every so often, who only know how to reach me via my phone – which is now impossible. They don’t know my e or g mail or Twitter or blog handles – WHAT IF THEY TEXT ME AND THINK I AM IGNORING THEM?
This is completely ridiculous. I actually woke up – repeatedly – last night with this feverish- semi-night-terror-ish thing about whether or not I could charge another phone with my “magic number” and go back in time to retrieve missed messages and other sort of convoluted fantastical half-horror flick delusional musings that left me in a night-sweating frenzy.
Ridiculous. I am being terrorized by my techno-need. I know I need help. I know when I get my replacement phone and am back on the grid (TUESDAY!!!) that I am going to have to put some rules in place. I am all for the healthy use of technology and a huge fan of being able to reach people quickly, maintain relationships via devices, but this obsessive need to be checking feeds and such – I thought when I left Facebook and pulled back from various surface relationships that I had somehow cured myself of the vapidity spin virus affecting the world – but I guess I didn’t.