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Unplugged – 48 Hours without a mobile phone

My phone has been driving me nuts since it was last updated to the latest O/S, roughly around 50% it would just switch off. Try and switch it on again, no dice – Charge me please! Plug it in to charge, fine 50% immediately. Really, really annoying. The only way to actually stop this happening was to turn it into low battery reserve mode, which by the way worked for me. I knew I had to take it in at some point to be looked at by the Apple “specialists” but I had been delaying it, purely because not living in London it was unlikely that I would get an immediate solution and thus the phone would have to disappear off without me for days.

This week in the news Apple announced an issue, exactly the same as mine on a few batches bought about the time that I bought my iPhone (6S by the way, I’m on the S wave renewal). Ah ha, all you had to do was take your phone to an Apple Store (or authorised retailer) and they would check the serial number for you. Alas I did, mine was one of the poorly bunch to sail away into the night leaving their owner cut off. Next to me as I was going through the forms another young guy came in with the same problem, “how long would it be away for?” he asked the expert and she replied “Well there is a backlog, 11 – 14 days”. I didn’t say anything but I couldn’t help but feel we were stepping onto the same boat in that moment.

It really seemed like a simple thing, there and then I decided yes I’ll hand my phone over to be sent away. No prep other than a backup I had arranged prior to visiting (saves you a lot of time). It really was only walking out of the store that I really realised, I don’t have my phone. Luckily I knew how to get back to the train station because lets be honest, if you are one of the lucky few who actually know where you are going congratulations! I rely on satnav and phone navigation pretty much 24/7 so that I don’t have to bank that kind of data into my brain, this was a major downfall last time I was in Central London and late for a neurology appoint (with a dead phone). I missed that appointment, but I did find the hospital. You’d be amazed how many Londoners don’t know either when asked and how many for obvious reasons don’t want to get their phone out in front of a complete stranger to check for you.

So there I was, without phone. I hadn’t even thought to let my husband know that I was handing it over before hand. I don’t even know his number, it’s only when you don’t have access that you really realise how much you don’t keep to hand. Unplugged I made my way to the train station with that odd feeling like I had left something behind, something important? You know the one. I read the station notice board, yes actually read the board rather than checked my journey using google maps/train app which conveniently tells you the platform to get on. As we sat there on the platform, I  looked up across to the other side and every single person was plugged in. Be that to music, on a call, doing the typical down pose where you hold it to browse. Everyone was present but also absent, occasionally there were brief interludes where the phones would go away and then they’d come out again. Is that what we’ve become as a society? It’s no wonder people don’t talk to each other anymore, why would you? When you can easily avoid the stranger banter by using the phone downward stare pose.

Photo Credit - Banksy/

Photo Credit – Banksy/

It had been twenty four hours without access to my phone. I have Facebook access and internet access on other devices but I definitely struggled to do the simplest of tasks last night in a frenzy of realisation that I would probably have to live the next two weeks living in a cave. I quickly arranged another phone but I had to endure another 24 hours without access, I can tell you that it felt like a long time.

There are positives to being severed from your device, I was able to be one hundred percent focused on Ariella. I can’t remember the last time I was one hundred percent focused on anything. Can you? Really? Always so easy to just break the silence with a quite look at the phone. Those natural pauses, always multitasking. There is something to be said about seeing the beauty in the moment, you miss a lot when you aren’t looking. I’ve always claimed I’m not very observant but really it’s just that I don’t always pay attention.

The timing of this could not have been worse, we had planned to go to the cinema that night to watch Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. To enable this I had booked our lovely babysitter, but without my phone I had no idea if she was definitely coming until an hour before. I managed to use my husbands phone with my sim to check, no messages so phew definitely still on. The film was great by the way, highly recommend you go see it especially if you are a harry potter fanatic like me.

I even forgot that I had a food delivery arranged, how embarrassing it was to have to call them to tell them to cancel it. I think it only had like four items in the bag, really very absent of me! Without my calendar to hand, things did indeed go a little bit mad. I’m glad to say that normality has resumed however I have a new appreciation for how truly easy these devices make our lives.