Part I: Life Without a Phone
My Wednesday started off relatively normal. I woke up at 7AM to get ready for work. I got on the T to go to Newbury St. Got in to work at about 9AM. All was well. At about 11AM I went to go look at my phone for the first time all morning to show some cute pictures of my niece’s 2nd birthday. That’s when my day took a turn for the worse.
My phone was dead. Not the “I forgot to charge my phone last night and used it too much on the T” dead but the “black screen, but home button still working, RIP iPhone” dead. I, a reasonable, relatively well-adjusted college student, immediately panicked. My life had been turned upside down. How was I going to survive without a phone? I sat in work in a daze until my boss told me to just go to the Apple store down the street to get it checked out. Uh, you don’t have to tell me twice.
Upon arrival at Apple I was put in the queue of walk-in clients and sat at a table for shockingly only 15 minutes. An apple tech, Matt, then arrived to look at my phone. I said it would not turn on, but the home button was still working. I also mentioned that I was attempting to start a manual/hard restart of the phone but because my volume buttons were stuck I was unable to. He said yeah, well, your phone is broken. You’ll need to spend $400 to get a new one since this damage to your volume buttons isn’t covered (which was weird since the damage was a manufacturing defect? I digress.)
Well, I was pissed. Like, super pissed. So, I stormed out of Apple in a huff (sorry Matt, you were actually a very nice guy) and went back to work. At 3PM I left so I could get to class and then spent the night with no phone, and prepared to not have a phone for potentially 3 days (how long it would take to get me a new phone according to Apple).
Here are the things I learned from not having a phone.
- My phone is my life line. I use it for maps, Uber, finding the BC bus, the weather (do I need a coat or a light jacket? This question plagues me in the morning), everything. I felt a wave of panic every single time I tried to do anything, looked down my phone to do it, and have it not turn on. I got Apple’s support line number and went to call it and realized that I couldn’t even call Apple to get a new phone!
- I would not wake up if I didn’t have a phone. The alarm clock feature is essential to my life when I have to wake up at 7AM every day for either work or class. It made me realize how many things that smart phones have rendered unnecessary or obsolete. Camera, alarm clock, communication, physical maps. Smart phones have become a one stop shop for everything you could need to do and when that one thing dies, well you’re out of luck.
- I do not know anyone’s phone number, except my mom’s. Luckily, I have a mac book which syncs up to my phone and iMessages, or I would have had no contact with my friends/family/human beings. We rely so heavily on our phones for all forms of communication, I forgot what it was like when I was 9 and had to either call my friend’s home landlines or know that we were all going to meet at the tennis courts at 9AM.
- It was honestly kind of refreshing to have no phone. While it was weird to not have a direct line of communication with anyone or be able to look up the weather, it was also awesome to be completely disconnected. I read a book and made to do lists and just felt very relaxed. I got to avoid Snapchat and Instagram for an entire day. Amazing.
Part II: No One Knows Anything
The part two of this story is that exactly 24 hours after this phone disaster my phone randomly turned back on. Just buzzed in my theology class and popped up with like a million app notifications (Snapchat, what’s up). This was especially weird since my guy Matt (again, so nice) had run a bunch of tests on my phone and plugged it in to stuff and had declared it totally dead. RIP. Told me it would never charge or turn on again.
Well I’ve got news for you dude. It did turn back on!! My phone was alive 24 hours after you said it was off to the junk yard. This week I have had actually nightmares about spending 400 dollars to get a phone that I didn’t even need, with a big apple with scruff manically laughing in the background (this made me think of some deeper issues based around my technology dependence, but that’s a discussion for a later date).
I honestly don’t know what this means. It leads me to an overall understanding that technology is complicated and advanced and isn’t as easily understood as we are to believe. Was I a naïve idiot walking into the Apple store and they took advantage of me to make some money? I understand very little about technology. They could tell me my phone was going to explode and had this and that wrong with it and I would have nodded like a puppet and given them my money (I am luckily cheap and refused to accept that I needed to pay for a new phone.) But it also brings up the idea that even the experts can’t predict and understand everything that happens with technology. This might be a reach, but even those who are paid to fix technology aren’t geniuses and cant know about everything that could happen to a phone. There are flaws and missteps and issues with systems.
What do you guys think? Is my phone a miracle? Am I just a tech idiot? let me know!