Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Like putting on music.
Like waltzing to the music in my living room with my delighted nine month old as my dancing partner, her tiny hand encased in mine and giggling at this new game.
Like feeling like its only one o’clock and I’ve already accomplished what usually takes me until three!
Like being told by my brother that I should write an article about life with no phone, telling him “what a great idea” and actually sitting down to write it pretty much right away…
CNN ran a story a couple of years ago, “Do you obsessively check your smart phone?” They brought statistics to show that the average person will check his or her phone on average 34 times a day, sometimes with only a ten-minute break between checks.
Huffington post related that 73% of Americans would feel panicked if they lost their phone while 14% admitted that they would feel “desperate.”
Honestly, last Tuesday, when my phone died while I was out in the street, I definitely felt the faint flutter of panic. And when I got home, placed it into the charger and returned an hour later to a blank screen, I would say there was an element of desperation as I stabbed violently at the home button and power button (to no avail).
That was last Tuesday. In my initial shock and disbelief, I wondered how I would survive the afternoon. The first item on the agenda was of course, to google the “symptoms” my sick phone displayed and to attempt a DIY reawakening.
Well, holding down on the home button and power button at the same time yielded the same faceless stare.
Switching the charging cable for another one I found lying around did the same thing.
Putting the phone in rice overnight was a sweet suggestion and a last ditch effort, because I knew the phone had not gotten wet, unlike the last mishap with my portable connectivity tool. However, I dutifully surrounded it with rice and left the babysitter to watch over it – and my sleeping baby – as my husband and I went to watch a basketball game at the Barclays Center.
That night there was no picture taking of the food, the players, the food, ourselves or the basketball court. In fact, no one knew we even went to the game.
Wonders of wonders.
The next morning, I admired my reflection in the black screen and searched deep within its depths for a trace of my beloved apps. The only thing I saw were my eyes, round and fearful.
It was time to try the next piece of advice. A new charging port.
This involved having my husband take the phone to his office, where a friend graciously gave us the use of his own charger for the day. In this case, for the hour, because that’s all it took for my husband to realize that the charging port, charging cable or charging room were not to blame for the demise of this particular iPhone 4s.
It was time to involve the experts.
A kind man who advertises his fixit skills in this field was pulled into the picture. On Wednesday night, I had a working phone!
For about one hour.
The battery was switched for a new one, to ensure the issue was not a broken battery as opposed to a broken charging port.
It is not a broken battery, that much was certain.
The new battery did not connect to the charger, just like the old one didn’t…
By midnight on Wednesday, the new battery has run out of juice. I have run a marathon answering over a days worth of wastapps, texts and catching up on Instagram news. I am secretly pleased to see the amount of social media I have missed, but the pleased feeling disintegrates fast, almost as quickly as the new battery runs out. I am left pensive and thoughtful, even as we discuss giving the phone back to the magic maker the following day.
And when Thursday lifts its sleepy head and my baby wakes me up with her cooes and babbling, soon after the sun has made it’s hazy appearance in a pink tinged sky, I marvel at my unhurried morning cuddles with her, at my slow and pointed morning routine, at my casual saunter to the bathroom to wash up.
I am not rushing to check anything, to update myself, to see what I have “missed.” I am not reaching out blandly for a cold, hard object that “connects” me but leaves me with no real connection. I am focused and living for the now and the only thing I rush for is to get back to my bed where my baby is lying on her back and holding her feet to her mouth whilst singing in her baby voice, so that I can flop down on the bed next to her and watch her eyes light up and a joyful laugh rise from her belly….
I didn’t give my phone in that day.
I didn’t give it in the next day either.
Sunday night, my husband went round to the fixit man’s apartment and handed him my phone.
I spent another day getting hold of important people using Facebook or Facetime, which I have on my computer.
(The other people were obviously not important enough to get hold of).
Tonight, they say I will get my phone back. Its going to be funny having it again, hearing the “ding” of a new e-mail or the “whoosh” of a new message. I have this crazy, insane, almost shouldn’t-be-said-aloud thought that maybe, maybe, I don’t want my phone back after all…?
Well, I have about six hours left of freedom.
I hear my baby moving around in her crib and I have a husband to make dinner for.
Please excuse me while I go connect with the people I love.
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/a-week-without-a-phone/2013/12/06/
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