“If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be?”
A question we’re all familiar with and one which has been known to reveal a lot about a person, this used to require a fairly substantial pause before answering. But when I was asked recently, I was secretly ashamed and visibly shocked at the response that left my mouth without me even having registered the question. The truth is, that as much as I would like to say something thoughtful and profound, my answer was “my iPhone.”
It made me think about what my mum has been telling me for a while- why would I struggle so much to live without my phone? Perhaps this is merely a pseudo-dependency; some kind of psychological glitch we could quite easily overcome if we actually tried to.
In a desperate attempt to relieve myself of this feeling, I set myself a challenge: last 24 hours without my iPhone. It turns out it’s easier said that done.
7:30 Being completely unprepared for life without my phone, I woke up half an hour late and having grown accustomed to throwing a pillow at my phone to muffle the alarm, I almost threw one at my mum.
8:45 I arrive in town, having suffered twenty minutes of sitting on the bus twiddling my thumbs, feeling serious withdrawal symptoms. It turns out that starring out of the windows and people-watching isn’t as appealing when you’re going through fallowfield as it may be in Paris. A conclusion based on the presence of pyjama-clad university students leaving Lloyd’s pharmacy and the distinct lack of chic, dog walking Parisians. So, sadly, it didn’t live up to its “surprisingly therapeutic” reputation.
iPhone 1. Me 0.
And so it continued…
The main problem I faced was this; my phone held my to do lists, something I am quite anal about. What on earth was I to do without my to do lists? Eventually I turned to pen and paper, but a post-it doesn’t sing to you to remind you to buy shampoo. Nor can it light up with the message that there’s a new sale starting at Topshop. Being without my phone forced me to do things the old fashioned way and actually use my memory. I can often be seen running around like a headless chicken, proclaiming that I am simply too busy and have so little time, but unplugging myself from my phone has actually cleared my head. I spend less time procrastinating and more time actually ticking boxes on my to do list. I didn’t constantly feel the need to check Facebook or have a quick browse of Pinterest and so I managed to act like a normal, sane person who actually has plenty of time.
But however liberating 24 hours was, the truth is that a life without a phone is one spent away from the rat-race of modern life. And as much as I would love to be someone who didn’t care about that, I do. After all, there must be a reason Apple have such a monopoly over our lives: my iPhone allows me to keep up with life instead of constantly chasing it. Quite frankly, I can’t run for very long without it.