This is an editorial piece from a frequent Telegraph contributor regarding her experience of enduring seven consecutive days without a phone, choosing to take her mobile’s breaking as an opportunity for some introspective analysis.
It’s written from a primarily humorous perspective, as she addresses the anxiety with which she has to contend when talking with people (gasp) in person, or reading books with pages or having to witness a glorious pastoral afternoon without Instagraming the moment (surely the “If a tree falls in the woods…” hypothetical for millenials).
Ultimately, nothing of serious consequence arose from her lost week. After all, she still had access to her laptop, allowing her to email, Facebook chat and tweet (though with less frequency, to her friends’ annoyance). She spoke to people on her commutes, had to plan ahead when arranging a meeting, arrive on time and hope the other person would both 1) show up and 2) show up promptly (which they did).
Some interesting developments, though not entirely surprising, are that her friends made fewer plans including her due to the lack of instantaneous response on prompts. We’re definitely in an age where not having a phone, as a conscious decision or not, will undoubtedly put one at a disadvantage in terms of broad-reaching communication with those who have them.
Her final quote I thought was interesting, since it was a rewording of what we discussed last class, which is “I realise I need to cultivate my face to face interactions with as much care as I do my online ones”. So while it’s essential to be cognizant of one’s online profile, they are truly flip sides of the same coin. Our reputation, appearance and other factors manifest themselves both in our real world interactions as well as our digital ones, and it behooves us to utilize awareness with both.
A question to the class is – would a similar experiment be tolerable for you? If you simply downgraded from a smartphone to a flip phone (so you can be reached for emergencies and general conversations), do you feel like your quality of life, or perceived quality of life, would be altered? Would it necessarily be an improvement or just different?