I remember it well: it was May 2012 and I had finally managed to scrape some money together to get myself my first smartphone (I have to add though that my main reason to get a smart phone was that I needed a new phone anyway as I had accidentally tossed me cell phone in the laundry machine). Smartphones seemed very handy to me, but I also felt people got really focused on their phones suddenly, like hormonal mothers birds nurturing a nest of chicks, until they are old enough to dispose of and when springs come they get a new one. I wasn’t eager to let myself get sucked into that; I was happy calling and texting (while all my friends were complaining I was the only reason they still needed to keep texting included in their phone plan). Getting my very own second hand, nearly 2-year old smartphone was as big as an investment I was willing to make.
And luckily for me I did not become overly involved with my phone, because not too long ago I was at the airport rushing to catch a flight, when a friendly smiling staff member put a plastic bag in my hands accompanied by the instruction: “For your small electronic devices”. Naturally I immediately thought of my phone (or rather, thought of what is left of it after having fallen so many times). But no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find it. “Eer.. mom..? I think I left my phone at home…”
I’ve always been scatter-minded and I was never very good at travelling; in the past five years I missed two flights, forgot to bring underwear when I would be gone for two months, and have attempted (accidentally) to bring illegal items on board in my carry-on (such as scissors, a knife, toothpaste and a liter and a half of water). So the fact that I had forgotten something was totally within my comfort zone. As a matter of fact: when nothing goes wrong I get a bit queasy (because I am convinced I just haven’t found out yet what I’ve done wrong).
But despite this natural resistance to smartphone dependency and anticipating my chaotic nature, I’ve always claimed there’s three things in everyday life I need to feel independent and free: a bit of cash in my wallet, my phone, and my bicycle. And here I was: in L.A. with only Euro’s, no phone, and nowhere near having a bicycle!
Honoustly, I think I could’ve dealt with not having a phone for a week, but when my friend (who’d meet me there) heard about my little mistake he simply grabbed his spare one and lend it out to me, which was great! The worst parts of it were not being able to take pictures (holidays and no pictures? Boohoo!) and having to ask people what time it is, because seriously, people look at you as if you just asked them to explain Einstein’s view on the relativity of time and space!
By Erna Ruby