6 hours without my phone: fear and then liberation

I drove to Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this afternoon for a lunch with some friends and 15 minutes away from home I realised that I had left my iPhone on the kitchen bench on the charger.

It was the first time in as long as I can remember that I had left home without a mobile phone of some description and I am ashamed to admit that I freaked out a little bit. No contact with people other than those I was with, no texting, no twitter, no checking in on foursquare and no email. This was the prospect I was facing in the car as I pondered turning it around and returning home to get my phone.

Ultimately, as I had people waiting for me and I abhor being late, I decided to press on with my journey and not return to my home to pick up my phone.

During the drive my reflex of checking my phone every 10 minutes did not kick in: I was focusing on driving and I am aware of the laws that require me to not check my phone as I drive. However, I am again embarrassed to admit that for the first 30 odd minutes after I arrived my hand often went to the pocket in which I normally rest my phone when I am not using it only to find that it was not there.

At this point I was sitting there thinking: “wow mate, you have a problem!”. After a while though I stopped moving to check my phone and actually engaged fulsomely in the conversation that was going on at the table as we ate and then afterwards as we sat at the Wharf Bar watching the boats go by and chatting.

Suddenly it dawned on me: I was loving not having my phone with me. The only people who knew where I was at the time were my parents who I had spoken to in the morning and told them I was heading up the coast and the 3 people I was with. And it felt brilliant! More to the point I concede that not having my phone on me meant that I was not checking my phone whilst others were talking to me and thus was not being what I have come to realise is obviously rude.

I know that this is probably a weird thing for a 35 year old person to be confessing too: a. I have a phone addiction and b. I never realised I was being so rude. It felt liberating to not have my phone on me and it also felt embarrassing to realise what I had been doing to people who previously had been dining / talking / drinking with me when I was rudely ignoring them whilst checking my phone mid meal / conversation.

I am going to do more to make sure I am not being so rude in the future and I look forward to again “forgetting” my phone soon!