Last month I let my nine year old borrow my smart phone. She dropped it on an asphalt road, cracking the screen. A few weeks later I sealed my phone’s fate when I inadvertently stepped on it, expanding the original imperfection into a spider web of cracks. I remember the moment I realized that my phone was gone. I felt sick to my stomach, frustrated and even a little angry. Later that night as I lay in bed I caught myself reaching for my phone to scroll through the latest Facebook update. The addiction was deep.
Over the next week there were hundreds of other moments where I felt the urge to grab my phone. On one level I just missed the convenience that my smart phone provided. Google Maps kept me from getting lost (most of the time anyway). Facebook, Instagram, Podcast Addict, Kindle, and the BBC gave me an easy exit from reality in the moments that were either too boring or too painful to engage. What’s App, texting and Facebook messenger ensured that I didn’t go too deep with people too often.
The move away from convenience was annoying but what truly disturbed me was the rising sense of angst, impatience and entitlement festering in my soul. I longed for my phone and somehow I became increasingly aware that this sort of desire shouldn’t be fed. So here I am, still considering whether I should buy a new smart phone or dust off the old brick sitting in my drawer.
As I write the words the absurdity of that proposition sets in and I know that the smart phone needs to go but I’m also a little afraid of what life will look like without it.