Friday, December 13, 2013

Crackberries and Dumb phones

Day 1: Sunday, 12:00 pm  I can do this. It's no problem at all.  Here I am taking a walk down the High Street armed only with a basic Nokia mobile.  No touchscreen, no apps.  I have made a wager that I can go twenty four hours without my iphone.  Certain people seem to think that I can't survive without it.  Of course I can.  I am the master of my iphone, not the other way around.

12:15   What if someone needs to email me?  What if it's urgent?  I have to admit I keep checking the Nokia, like I reflexively look at my wrist when I've forgotten to wear my watch.  I've written an 'out of office' reply with this number in case anyone needs to reach me so if it really is dire... But in a work situation people expect quick replies.  I bet I have tons in my inbox when I get home. 

12:20 What has happened to all the internet cafes?  They used to be everywhere.

12:25  That Starbucks down the road has free wifi.  I wonder if someone would let me check my email on their laptop?  Probably not a good idea.

12:30 How does the Bluetooth on the Nokia work?  Can't I get internet access that way?

12:35 Better head home.  Nice to be outdoors for a change though.

2:00  No problems at all during lunch.  Laptop, television, kindle provide enough entertainment.  I've promised to take the kids to the playground - this will give me a great opportunity to interact with them. 

2:15 Lots of parents in the playground checking their phones.  Man, I'm glad I'm not that bad!

2:17 Check the Nokia.  No texts.

2:20 Check the Nokia again.  Absentmindedly touch screen.  Nothing happens. 

2:31 When did Rocky come out?  1977 or maybe 1976?  I guess I can check on the laptop when I get home... 

6:00  Bathtime, stories, then bedtime for the kids.  No problem at all giving up the smartphone for a day.  The wife has hidden it somewhere and has promised to return it to me tomorrow at lunchtime.  Usually while the bath is running I check the rugby results, send some emails (the wife does not allow it at the table and the last time I checked it during dinner she gave me a look that would strip paint of the wall).  But I'm fine just getting the bedtime stuff ready and listening to Radio 4.  Programme on cheese preservation.  Cool.

6:07 C'mon water.  Flow.

6:11 It just has to be accepted that multitasking is the way in today's world.  Quick information is a necessary developmental milestone.  Smartphones are helpful and beneficial.

6:12  I wonder where she put it.  Not under the bed, not on her chest of drawers, not under the rug.  I don't want it, I'm just curious.

6:13 If I phone it, I can figure out where it is!  She might not hear the ring over the bath running.

6:14  It's not upstairs.

6:30 Bedtime stories with no smartphone.  I have to listen when it's the wife's turn to read.  I hate how Dr Seuss can't scan the rhyme properly.

6:35 How long is this story?  EAT THE EGGS AND HAM ALREADY!!!

Monday 6:00 am  I drowsily reach for the bedside table to find... nothing.  Then I remember.  The sounds coming from downstairs indicate that the wife is getting breakfast ready. 

6:02  where is it where is it where is it!  All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

6:10  Aha!  That minx buried it under my socks.  I turn it on.  Nothing happens.  What the hell!  Did she disable it somehow?  Damn it, I can't ask her because she will know I went looking for it.  Fiend.

8:00 On the way to my office I run into a colleague carrying her morning coffee.  She stops me.  'Did you get my email?'
'No, when did you send it?'
'About five minutes ago.' 
I tell her about the wager.  She laughs and says, 'I thought you looked different.'
'What do you mean?  How?'
'Well, you're making eye contact and your arms are at your sides.'
I am never sure when she is joking.  If she is, not very funny. 

10:30  Morning management team meeting.  I look across the oval table hoping it's a quick one.  While pretty much everyone is checking their phones, I stare at the meeting agenda. The letters seep together and no longer make sense as words.  I have no choice but to pay attention.  The Head is talking about deadlines for budget submissions.  Why does he look so annoyed?  And why is he repeating everything three times?  God, this is taking ages.  Is it 12 o'clock yet? 

I discreetly check my wrist.  There is nothing there.  I check again five minutes later.

12:00  She's late.  She's never late.  She's doing this on purpose to torture me.  Well, it won't work.  I was absolutely fine without it. 

12:02  She knocks on the office door.  She hands me the phone.  'Here it is.  Was it...' 
I slam the door and caress the phone.  It's on.  My apps shine like beacons on an airfield guiding me home.

'Let's never be apart again.'

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