Going to work, nice and early. Driving through the traffic while playing my music and sipping my first coffee of the day. Life is good!
Fifteen minutes into my drive, as I’m descending into the horrific main tunnel on my route, the usual traffic starts to become denser and denser. until we’re not moving anymore. It’s ok, we’ll move again in a few seconds. Happens all the time. Few seconds became a few minutes, green lights on both lanes of the tunnel started flashing orange.. not good. There must be a breakdown or a crash. There’s always that one idiot who forgot to fill up petrol, or ignored the engine light for way too long. Let’s check. I reached for my phone and .. Where did I put it? must be on the back seat with my stuff. Checked the phone network bars on my car’s display and NOOOO. It’s empty! There are no network bars. I have left my phone at home in my hurry. How stupid of me.
The wait kept on stretching. Ten minutes later, and I’m still staring at the tail lights of the car in front of me. I’ll do my usual thing and see what my partner is doing. He’ll be awake, I can chat the wait away. So here I am pressing the voice command button and nothing is happening.. Damn. We’ll move soon. Meanwhile I’ll find one of my favourite songs and sing along. Who am I kidding.. I’m running late and I want to get out of this tunnel. The red break-lights of my fellow drivers are burning holes in my vision. It’s all I can see in this semi-dark airless tunnel. Let’s see what my team is up to on our IT Crowd Google Hangout. I should tell them I might be running late. Oh.. No Phone.
Thirty minutes later and this is becoming ridiculous. I have to be at work, what is going on that is taking so long? let’s I lower the window and ask the driver next to me to check on his phone, at least we’ll know when it will clear! I turn my head.. annddd.. Crap.. I’m face-to-face with the belly of a shipping container. No humans to be seen from my window. We will move, eventually.. At least I have some food with me.
An hour has passed since we stopped. An hour without my phone to let the team know I’m running late. An hour of not knowing what is holding me up. An hour of no Internet, chat, phone calls and checking e-mails. An hour of being stuck in a tunnel, recycling the air through my aircon, and getting bored. My hands are twitching to touch my phone, anxiety is creeping into my mind and I just want to go home and get it. I have lost contact with my world. It’s how I feel, and the only way I can explain it.
Eventually, it all started to move, and I got out of that hellhole of a tunnel, I made it to the office – pretty late I may add – but the whole day felt off. I still had my desk phone to make my calls, my computer was there to do anything I’d like to, but my mobile phone wasn’t. I didn’t have it to sneak a few minutes here and there, while I’m doing the long walk to the restrooms, or waiting for the microwave to heat up my food. It wasn’t there for me to check my e-mails or see what my friends were up to. I felt isolated and alone. The drive back home was equally miserable and lonely.
I have no word other than addiction to describe my attachment to my phone. It’s not the most ergonomically friendly device, it’s bending me forwards while I’m trying to hold it with both hands, slowly killing my eyesight, and stealing my sleep at night. It’s the enemy that I can’t let go. If I’m not holding it, it’s next to me. It has my e-book library, my finances, friends, family and work. Even my watch feels useless without it. I am addicted. I need to cut down and think of how we used to be 20 years ago, as kids, enjoying the simple things we had and relying on ourselves and organising skills. We use technology to simplify our life, But life was better without it somehow.