I’m drafting this post with an old-fashioned pen (one of those things with ink you hold between your fingers) on a piece of plain paper (flat material, originates from trees, no spell-checker), in the waiting room of a station where there isn’t even a screen displaying train times.
It’s all very alien and a little bit 1982. Any time now I’m expecting to discover the 20p coin hasn’t been invented, there’s no such thing as Facebook and the only way you can really communicate with someone is by actually speaking to them in person, face to face with eye contact and everything.
In a nutshell, I have no phone; at least not one that works. It’s a long and not particularly interesting story but I’ll relay it anyway to ease the slow passing of time without Internet access.
Life without a phone feels very strange. The pace of life feels slower. I have no information at my fingertips, and suddenly I am in need of train times, dates, my calendar for tomorrow and an update on my Words With Friends status.
I have none of the above.
The last time I felt so disconnected from the rest of the world was the time I queued outside a telephone box only to discover I didn’t have enough change to make a call.
The not so interesting bit goes as follows. I remembered this morning that my phone contract was about to expire. Rather than facing the unthinkable – life without a smart phone – I decided to go into the phone shop and get it sorted.
It all seemed so straightforward. I got my shiny new phone and accepted the assistant’s offer to set it up for me. All my data, apps, settings and the like would be transported via the cloud from my old phone to my new, as if by magic, the assistant told me.
Except the shop’s fastest-than-super-fast-internet was too slow, so the process faulted leaving my phone data stuck somewhere in that cloud, never quite making the journey through space, or whatever route travelling data takes.
So here I am. Phoneless, data-less and disconnected.
There’s the opportunity here, of course, to relax and do nothing; to reflect a little and enjoy some quiet time.
Instead I’m sharing the drama of my phoneless existence while wondering how many important emails I’ve missed, how many voicemails I’ll have to pick up when I’m back in the real world and how many text messages are sitting on my phone waiting for me.
My right thumb, usually so active on the phone screen, is twitching a little, unused to this lack of activity.
Several hours later, back in the year 2015 with my new phone fully updated, it turns out that the number of emails, texts and voicemails I missed amounts to a grand total of zero.
That’ll teach me for not making the most of my brief time back in a pre-internet existence.