I talk about using my phone for blogging and keeping in constant contact with the family using pictures and texts all the time. Just last week I named a post A Father in the Future, singing the praises of being able to see Liam’s little moments only minutes after they happen. So it was all the more devastating when my phone broke over the weekend. I had no idea how dependent on it I had become.
I know that many of you are saying “Oh get real we all survived just fine BEFORE there were cell phones.” And most of the time I’d agree with you. Hell, I’ve probably said it myself (in-between texting, tweeting, and checking the Sox score ON MY PHONE.) But when faced with a few days cut-off from my little digital buddy I was a wreck.
Sure I can always live without twitter, and I don’t HAVE to check the blog’s stats every half-an-hour either, but it’s nice that I can. Thanks to Twitter and this blog I now have friends from all over the world that I mostly interact with using texts and the like, but that isn’t anything I can’t work around with the laptop at home. When it came right down to it the social media aspects and convenience of checking email no matter where I was, I really could survive. I’d probably even benefit from a little media fast for a few days. And so that’s what I did. I Didn’t even bother to go online with the computer at home. An internet deep breath, so to speak.
But it isn’t just the conveniences of the smartphone that make me dependent on the device. I felt naked, vulnerable, uneasy without it. On sunday I needed to get in touch with my parents. I realized that I don’t know either of their phone numbers. I don’t know anyone’s phone numbers. I called my childhood phone number, not entirely sure at first if my parents even still had a landline.
Worse than that though was going anywhere alone knowing that if something happened to Liam, Karin would have no way of letting me know immediately. That was a feeling that I did not enjoy. On monday I drove around running errands on my day off constantly fumbling my pocket looking for my security blanket. Sure I survived high school and even college without a cell phone. I’ve never been a parent without one. I have been only a text message away from someone caring for Liam (usually his mom of course but also hospital/home nurses) only a few feet away for nearly every minute of his life. It’s about as comforting a feeling as it gets; until it’s taken away.
Before I get too overdramatic about this let’s all remember that we all survived just fine and would have figured out a solution no matter the communication delay anyway. In the end I almost ended up enjoying the time off from all the other stuff. Walking around holding up my fingers and saying ‘click’ a whole bunch of times at things I would have taken a picture of if I had my phone. I realized that without it my hands and fingers seem to scream at me for something to do during all those little moments between the things you are meant to do.
Last night my replacement phone arrived. The digital fast is off, and the return of the communication tool that it is couldn’t have come at a better time. Today the three of us packed up the wagon and headed north to Children’s Hospital Boston for a visit with Liam’s ophthalmologist. Just far enough away to be a bit of an adventure, today’s trip was made even more exciting by a snowstorm. To have made that trip without my phone, even though Karin would be with me and have hers, would have been difficult for me. Incredibly difficult. I’m pretty happy to have it back.
Sure I could have survived like we did before cell-phones.
I like living in the future better.
Talk to you soon.
Updated: Once I posted this post wordpress let me know that this is my 250th post. So, you know . . . yay me!