Yesterday I lost my phone. This happens a lot. And I mean a LOT. So much so, that I have developed a shorthand system with my husband for reporting the loss to him. It goes something like this:
Me to BlondeNorthernFriend,
‘Oh bugger, can’t find my phone. Could you just phone TheLongSufferingHusband and tell him: Protocol 12? No no, I’m not stuck in a field being hassled by loads of cows, that’s Protocol 14. Tell him to look at the LIST on the FRIDGE.’
The fact that I lose my phone all the time might suggest that I am not that keen on it. Or that, at the least, I am ambivalent about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love my phone. I adore it. I keep it tucked into my bra and like to give it a little tap from time, just to reassure myself that it’s there. (And, to be clear, IT’S NOT.)
And yet I’m always losing the flipping thing. And when I do, it’s not a pretty sight. I start to hyperventilate. There is flapping. There may also be twitching. I have this sinking feeling in my stomach, that someone, somewhere is trying to contact me to tell me something massively important. That my phone is buzzing away, in that stream, or on that bus seat under a massive map of Dublin (I SWEAR I DIDN’T PUT IT THERE) with a text telling me that I have been made Queen of the World or that David Tennant wants to meet me in Starbucks for a Flat White and a Red Velvet Whoopie Pie in half an hour. And he’ll be sitting there, mournfully eating both the Whoopie Pies himself, weeping quietly because I haven’t turned up. Because that would be just my luck.
Being without my phone can feel almost physically painful, like I’ve accidentally chopped my arm off. Which I have, more or less. And it’s not just me, I know. Because the truth is – we are all part of the Borg now, linked into the cyber-network and there’s not too much we can do about it, apart from complain to Davros.
So, in summary, human beings have bought into the idea that they should pay a monthly subscription for what is basically a tracking device, like we put on criminals. So why do I miss the little vibrating tag so much? Well here are a few Good Things about mobile phones:
- Before we had mobile phones, if you wanted to make a phone call you had to sit in the hall at the telephone table*, with everyone walking past you and listening to your conversation. If you wanted any privacy, say to talk to your boyfriend about how much you were looking forward to snogging him for example, you had to go to the phonebox down the road, where you often had to queue and it always smelled of pee. Which didn’t make for a very romantic atmosphere. And often the pips went, just at a crucial moment and you couldn’t get your ten p in the slot in time**.
- Mobile phones are incredibly useful if you are due to meet up with someone who is very vague. For example, in the days before mobile phones my dad once left before us for a trip to the seaside, leaving the instruction that we were to ‘meet him in Scarborough’. Which was really quite a frustrating few hours, I must say.
- If you are at a very dull social occasion, or a meeting say, then if you can find a partner you can then text each other with sardonic remarks or bitchy comments about the people around the table, which makes a nice alternative to the pre-mobile phone tactic for dealing with a tedious social occasion i.e. get roaring drunk. NB obviously I have never actually done this one, but I read about it in, er, the Guardian or, er, somewhere.
- If you are the kind of person who often struggles for topics of conversation, then you can always get out your mobile and show everyone all your apps. And make them play them. And then say, ‘There’s an app for that.’ Everyone loves to look at apps. For sure. Yeah.
So, the sooner I can get plugged back into the network, the better. Resistance is futile. But actually come to think of it, I might be OK, because David Tennant probably reads the blog too, right? So David, if you’re reading this: try the landline.
*actually I could never use a telephone table after a very bad incident during a game of sardines where I got stuck under a telephone table and had to be sawed out.
**not a euphemism.
***SO much to say on this topic, but… another time I think.
Read all about the Borg…