Overload & iPhone Intravenous

Is there such a thing as being overconnected?

If you had asked me 3 years ago if I would give up my cell phone I would have recoiled back in horror. How could I possibly sever the umbilical cord tether to my world? Now here is my confessionfor the past couple of years I have lived without a mobile phone.

This came about by accident, after my phone went rogue and revolted against me (read: died), I had every intention of replacing it. I was getting moaned at for not being reachable, not being available for spontaneous rendezvous and friends worrying I would be stranded somewhere if they were late or plans changed. Frustrations I can understand, we’re so use to everything being instant and NOW and organising on a whim. Meeting new people was also awkward – ‘Is it okay if we exchange emails my phone is in cellular heaven.’

As much as I thought it would feel like I was always missing something. I didn’t. I was actually starting to enjoy not having one. I am already accessible via a landline, social networking profiles and my email – which is ever-present on my laptop. Cheery little emails brightened my day, they are my equivalent of the text message. If it’s very desperate you can even text my boyfriend to check I’m not dead or abducted! Yes I am still accessible for making plans and catching up, I’m just not accessible ALL the time. It feels like when it comes to mobile technology it’s almost like you never switch off, even though there is the OFF button people seldom make use of. Text messages always seem to scream ‘Urgent’ and I find it difficult enough having to contend with my bulging inbox which I’m forever writing self memos to sort out.

I enjoy company though at the same time I covet my own space every once in a while to just relax and have ‘me time’ or ‘us time’ with my boyfriend, but if I get an on-the-spot invitation then I often feel swayed into accepting whether I feel up to it or not. I hate disappointing people, that’s my problem. Being sans phone gives me my ‘me time’ – uninterrupted.

No signal, no problem. (Onward to Vancouver - roadtrip).

I also enjoyed the peace, being on the move and feeling free. Being able to be in a coffee shop and in deep conversation with no interruptions or cut off sentences because ‘I got to take this’. I think people have slowly accepted I can be a normally functioning person with an active social life without having a mobile phone, just go via another route to get hold of me because chances are if I’m right in the middle of something or out then I’m unavailable anyway.

New start. Fresh beginnings. Time differences. Long distance. I have debated getting myself on the iPhone intravenous when I return to Canada for these reasons. Now besides the obvious advantages of mobile internet it would also mean I could blog on the move and sort my correspondence on public transport which is otherwise ‘wasted time’. Maybe then I  could handle friends clamoring for my attention in every-which-way-direction instead of making a mental note, leaving it later and feeling swamped and guilty for not returning their messages sooner.

I’m just not sure I’m ready to let go of a life where I chose when I’m connected and the freedoms that go with that.

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8 Comments

Filed under Life, Musings and Aphorisms, Personal Development

8 responses to “Overload & iPhone Intravenous

  1. Ray

    IN THE END…..we live in a ever changing world where we have to adapt TO it’s STANDARDS… unless we’re the one making the change

  2. I hate to admit it but I am one of these people who needs her phone all the time. I am trying to be better about it and even thinking about downgrading the phone I have as to be able to put it down more often… it’s a strange world.

    http://senseofstyleiseternal.blogspot.com/

    • I’ve never had a smartphone before, just the basic text/call/photo messaging functions. I think if I’d had a smartphone I would never given it up 😀 internet-on-the-go sounds amazing.

  3. Julie

    You haven’t had a cell phone in 2 years? Well it is crazy that my 11 year old cousin has a cell phone and he’s had one since he was 8. I didn’t get a cellphone until was 17 years old (just like most of my senior class) and I’m now 22. All the little kids are surprised that I did not have a cell phone until I was a lot older. Parents are telling me “you know it’s necessary that our (grammar school) aged kids need cell phones because they go out with their friends…” No they don’t need a cell phone! When I was their age, I still hung out with my friends and NO cell phone *gasps* and we didn’t get escorted home by the police.

    Anyways I was thinking of getting an android phone too–I was thinking Nexus one. In America, the iPhone provider is AT&T and the reception from AT&T doesn’t work very well in a lot of places. I have a contract with sprint which ends in June but I won’t renew it because it doesn’t work very well in San Diego. You see, I’m trying to get a provider where the reception is good in both LA and SD. But anyways I think getting an android phone is a good idea especially when you just relocate. you can conveniently know what places you need to go and how to get there.

    • I think when I get back to having a phone I’ll wonder how I even survived 2.5 years.

      Wow!! 8 is so young. I wonder what they even need it for. I’m sure the games are a bit of a novelty for the first little while, but that is crazy indeed Julie. Our school had a catchment area of about 30 miles so I did have some friends who lived a fair distance away but we’d tend to make plans in school so phones weren’t necessary even though I saved up my pocket money for one. Plus I had a group of friends in the neighbourhood and if you wanted to go out and play you just knocked on their door.

      Brilliant idea, a little smartphone with a GPS would be really handy. Got to love Google maps.

  4. Taryn

    wanna hear something really funny! I just got my first cell phone in august 2009!!! haha at 23! i just never really found the need for one! i had my own line when i lived with my parents so people could always get a hold of me there and if i was out they could leave a message and id call them back.. but since moving away for school i found it kind needed to get one.

    can i suggest if you want an iphone to get it through bell here in canada, with contract you can get it for 99 dollars, and bells service is amazing! my brothers been on bell for years and hasnt had a problem. and i havent had issues with them since ive had my phone, plus they have awesome costumer service!!!

    • Yay! We’re a bit of a rare breed, being able to be phone free and functional! Wear it as a badge of honor haha!

      I think my first mobile phone was when I was about 13/14 when I got into secondary school and it was really cool to have one. I remember the thrill of texting a friend in the middle of the night when I should have been asleep. It seemed a bit unnecessary as we’d all see each other at school the next day, but at the time we thought we were all really awesome!!

      There are times during my final year at Uni when it would have been really handy to have a phone I must admit. But I survived somehow 😀 I think other people having internet on their phones was really helpful.

      Thankie doodles for the phone advice, I think my boyfriend is on Rodgers and he gets a bit patchy coverage with the internet so Bell sounds so much better. ❤

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