How long will this lump of plastic control our lives?
When will this mini-computer in my pocket be obsolete technology?
What would life be without one?
When the battery on my Samsung anti-creativity device died two months back I decided to find out the answers to these questions. Yep, I ditched the thing and struggled through life without a mobile telephone for two months straight.
Cold turkey, baby.
Let’s get one thing clear. Life with a cell, people, is kind of like living in one.
But here is the good news. It is possible to breathe without a mobile phone. It is possible to wake up without one, shower, dress, go to work without that little radiation machine in your pocket or handbag. It’s possible to do this for a day repeatedly until the days become a week and then the weeks become a month. It is possible to do this twice.
Now there are some who claim to be in control of their handheld device.
“It doesn’t control me, I control it,” they will tell you before updating their status with a meme.
And they’re right. The smartphone shouldn’t control you. You should control it, or else kick the flip lip waste bin open and throw it inside.
But how many of you are really in control of that device and how many of you are gripped and controlled by it? The entire carriage of the BTS this morning was indeed trapped by their smartphones.
“They are just the new books and magazines of the future,” mobile apologists and transhumanists claim.
Yes, but the one subject in that book or magazine is themselves. The mobile phone: a narcissist’s wet dream.
Giving up the device was no big deal. No shakes, no night terrors, no broken furniture, or ruined relationships.
But then again maybe I wasn’t totally addicted in the first place?
Results may differ so before quitting your handheld device, you may want to consider working out a detox plan. Tapering off slowly perhaps, limit your daily posts, or switch to a Gameboy or PSP to give the hands something to do.
Now my smartphone is ditched my life is filled with joy and mildly cynical happiness. I have no real need to immerse myself in social media unless it’s behind a big screen with a keyboard in front of me, inside an office or upstairs in my bedroom where I type out this article, the fan blowing on the back of my neck since the air-conditioning spluttered its final breath during the year’s hottest days.
The aircon is one piece of technology I do dearly miss.
Heavy users may find it hard to quit the smartphone. But just imagine it like a grieving process. You begin by bargaining, before quickly turning to disbelief, rage and then anger. And after a few days of wondering what had happened to your shallow life and the vacuous nature of society, acceptance finally takes over.
I avoid commuter trains on the way to work. I take the bus, look out the window, observe people walking around. There is still a slice of humanity out there if you take a moment away from your phone to look at it. It’s actually not that bad. The game play may be bad but the graphics are awesome.
So try going out without it. Just once.
Each and every person who joins me in this cell-less revolution makes the cause so much sweeter.
So imagine if you can, a month without your iPhone or your Samsung.
It’s easy if you try.
Every sunset doesn’t have to be a potential selfie. Every plate of food need not be shared. Every face is not a potential friend or victim to send ridiculous compliments, poisonous attacks, or genital portraits to.
Without a smartphone there’s no excusing being late for meetings. No last minute LINE message to explain that you’re held up. No, sir, madam, you will commit to being somewhere and you’ll make sure that you are there. This is old school manners right here.
Ditching your device makes you immediately popular with the opposite sex. You will learn chivalry, create deft conversations, be swimming in personal magnetism and everybody will love you forever.
So give up the cellphone for a month and transform your life.
In the cyber world things will no doubt march on. People will still argue and friendships will be terminated. Voters will not agree on candidates. Candy will still be crushed and birds will still be angry. Dick pictures will still fly around cyberspace like phantom rockets.
The world will keep predictably spinning, and I will still have managed to write an article about how useless that little gadget is.
You know which one.
The one you’re reading this article on…
Featured image is by Peter Rowley and used under a Creative Commons licence