I don’t expect any of you reading this to be shocked when I say that
I lost my phone.
“But, Kayleigh”, I hear you cry, “How could you possibly lose your phone? You’re always on your phone.”
I have two words for you, oh lovely readers.
If there’s anything that’s going to defeat me at a Wedding, it’s going to be turning up to it late, so that everyone is already smashed before you arrive, and a free bar meaning that every said drunk person is handing you two drinks at a time. Needless to say, I was a little merry, and didn’t notice my phone’s disappearance until I woke up on Sunday at midday, still in my make-up, and sporting a series of bruises down the left hand side of my body.
Now, I should have panicked. I should have started to get concerned. But after finding out that my phone was at the hotel (using Find my Phone… so handy!), hadn’t been stolen, but just hadn’t been handed in, I decided not to panic. IT WAS THE SLOWEST MOST ANNOYING THING ANYWAY (And my Dad got an upgrade this week so I’m now using his delightful Samsung S7). However, I had to wait for a new sim card to arrive and so the grim realisation of being “Phone Free” hit me. But, ever the optimist, I saw this as a new challenge (and something to blog about) and so here are the things i’ve learnt after my 134 hours not being connected to the world by a tiny little piece of plastic and metal:
1. You get out of bed much quicker.
I’m definitely not the only one who wakes up, and then spends 30 minutes going through their Twitter feed, Instagram Stories and looking at their Facebook “On This Day”. I know there’s others of you phone addicts out there who set their alarm half an hour earlier, to allow for that period of time where you slowly wake up to the gentle scrolling of thumb on cracked phone glass. However, when you are phone free (and woken by the sound of your Saviour Housemate’s ipad alarm – Thank you Rhys!) you literally have no excuse not to jump straight out of bed. It sounds totally ridiculous but I wasn’t rushed in the morning because I wasn’t being distracted by Cat videos on facebook, or trying to look at all the meme’s my mate Jess tags me in at an hourly rate. Lesson learnt: Must put the phone down in the morning and only look at it when i’m ready to start the day.
2. Walking without music in your ears means you notice other things
I always listen to music when I have my phone with me. On my tube journey, walking to the shops, waiting for the bus. I hate not having music playing in my ears. However, I had to go without and it actually was lovely. I can’t say I was going on any scenic walks on my way into work (Although.. Seven Sisters Road is scenic for all it’s own reasons). But it was nice to actually feel connected to what was going on around me. I think that sometimes we plug our ears with music to completely zone out from our environment, which is fine, but not something we should do at all times. It meant I was able to smile at people on the tube because I wasn’t lost in my own thoughts. I noticed things about the buildings I’d passed, or seen shops I hadn’t noticed before. Lesson learnt: Allow yourself time to be part of the environment you’re in. Getting lost in your own world and thoughts is great, but shouldn’t be 24/7.
3. Reading is an excellent time-filler
Now I love a good book anyway. If i’ve got the time and the books at my disposal then I can sink totally into my imagination for several days and sleepless nights. My phone-free existence meant it was hard for me to make last minute plans, and meant I spent a lot of time twiddling my thumbs on my tube journeys to work and when I got home again. However, my gorgeous friend who works at Penguin Publishing recently sent me some of their latest releases and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to throw myself into some good writing again. AND BOY DOES NOTHING SPEED UP YOUR COMMUTE TO WORK THAN A GOOD BOOK. (If you haven’t, please read The Chalk Man. Book review coming soon!) Your phone can totally waste precious time in the day. 10 minutes here and there that when put together could equal 45 minutes of guitar practise or a tasty half hour tucked in bed with your new book. Lesson learnt: Don’t use your phone unnecessarily. Time is precious and I should fill it with things that nurture my soul, like reading or creating. Sure, a cheeky swipe on Bumble is totally allowed. BUT NOT EVERY OTHER HOUR.
4. We shouldn’t rely on our mobiles to communicate 24/7
“Oh thank god. I thought you’d been ignoring me.” is something I heard pretty regularly when I managed to log onto Facebook at the end of my working day. It’s amazing how if you aren’t available at all hours every day that people can assume that either you have an issue with them or maybe something is really wrong with you. Admittedly, I’m pretty sure my WhatsApp would have said that I hadn’t been online since Saturday at like 3am, so if anything I’m a little disappointed no one had checked if i’d fallen down a ditch or something but WHATEVER. But, we have become so accustomed to having everything at our disposal at all times, that we rely on people being able to communicate with us at all times. That’s so not right. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I can call my friends in any country at any time, but maybe the romantic in me wishes that we could sometimes give each other a little more space. Gone are the good old letter writing days and that makes me sad. Lesson learnt: We don’t need to be at everyone’s beck and call at all hours of the day and that is ok. Plus, I must send my friends some letters.
5. Our society is permanently looking down at a screen
If you want to understand the scale of the problem within our society right now then I implore you go a day without your phone, without headphones. Just walking around the city, it was actually incredible how many people walk around necks bent, faces buried deep into their tiny screens. The amount of dodging I have to do when I walk down the street is insane. What can be so captivating that we’ve lost the ability to walk? It was genuinely unbelievable seeing how many people were walking around without being aware of their surroundings and I have to personally put a stop to myself doing it. Lesson learnt: Our phones are not more interesting than our fellow people on this planet. Let’s pledge to walk around our own world and take it in, rather than placing all our focus on a tiny bit of technology.
6. I CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT A PHONE
Ultimately, I survived. Yes I couldn’t make impromptu plans. Yes I missed listening to Jessie Ware on my commute to work. But ultimately I didn’t miss out on much else, other than a few text messages which I received a few days later. I think we all need to put our phones down (MYSELF ABSOLUTELY INCLUDED) more often. Phone addiction is becoming more and more prevalent in our society and these last 5 days have really given me a wake up call. A book has actually just been released by Catherine Price called How to Break Up With your Phone and it is ABSOLUTELY on the top of my wishlist to buy this year. We can all achieve so much more with those wasted minutes spent mindlessly flicking through social media so let’s all promise to ourselves that we will use our time better. Lesson Learnt: 20 minutes on Bumble vs 20 minutes practicing guitar. I know what i’m going to pick from now on (Goodbye monotonous shite dates, Hello Tori Kelly covers)!
I write this from my living room. My phone is plugged into the wall of my bedroom. And yes, I’m a little bit twitchy to see if anyone has messaged me. But I reckon i’ll survive 😉
– Koko x