A week of anti-digital. (sort of)

In a general update of my life, since my last post in … goodness, February. : I’m currently lucky enough to be working in one of the most vibrant and innovative digital bodies this country has to offer.

Working in digital pretty much means you have to be digital; switched on, connected, contributing, collecting and contactable. You’ve got to be on top of new releases, what’s potentially going to be the next best thing and what can we hack together to make something special. I’ve a confession to make, I’ve been living a lie … for the last 9 days I’ve been living without an iPhone.

Contain yourselves.

It’s not that bad.

I’ve kept a diary (of sorts) to accompany my ordeal, and to keep me entertained while I was missing all the Instagram updates.

Whilst physically painless, I did suffer somewhat during my information-weakened state. My ordeal panned out as follows:

Day 1: Brushing past the general anger at the person who stole my phone, and the irritating fact that insurance companies are not manned on a Sunday the most worrying feeling I felt was that I simply did not feel that I could safely leave the house.

I’m still a relative newcomer to London, I like to be able to check where I am and be able to contact people should I need to. It’s a comfort and security thing. A group outing to Brick Lane market involved scheduled meeting points at certain times should we become separated.

Great, I’m back in the Brownies.

Day 2: Back to work, how do I break my news to the room full of people who take their phones to lunch? Maybe I can slip under the radar…

Missed messages from friends, what else am I going to have to go without? My social circle feels tiny.

Day 3: The number of things I rely on my phone for is growing. This morning the most noticeable was ‘alarm clock’ I woke up on time completely by chance, after failed attempts at clobbering together an alternative method.

Bought an actual clock.

Day 4: When your friends all see each others lives on Instagram, we ask more direct questions about their recent trips and (noticeably amongst the Many) meals. People either haven’t noticed I am missing from their stream, or thing I have led a fairly uninteresting and certainly unphotogenic few days.

On receiving a little nugget of good news (the ‘I want to share this’ type) I wasn’t able to immediately send a text or call to close friends and family, which seemed to dull the celebrations slightly. Sharing an experience makes it that bit richer.

I recognise that I seem to be replacing my visual hits with more time on Pinterest. I guess I’ve become used to having a rich flow to latch on to.

General observations: Missing odd things like checking weather predictions as soon as I wake up, having a camera on me all the time and list making. Housemate’s phone buzzing through the wall half wakes me up thinking it is the ghost of mine. I don’t think this is good for me.

Day 5: Actually getting quite used to this again. I no longer feel unprotected in the big city, happy to go for a wander after work, not feeling as if I have to rush from laptop to laptop to be near a communication channel. Lovely chat with the guys at Safer Transport London; they are tracing my Oyster card number and finding me on cctv to try and catch my thief. Service design against crime!

Day 6: The weekend beckons. Feeling seriously anti social. I buy yummy food and have an evening of catching up on forgotten films. Bliss.

Day 7: A genuinely productive day. Who needs list-making apps when you have time to yourself and no constant attachment to the time of day? I miss taking photos on walks through the pretty graveyard.

Day 8: A rainy Sunday morning of sewing and organising. A change glance at facebook and friends are planning a get together for tonight. Lovely.

We take a trip to a new part of town, and explore without a map but with a camera. The advertised open studio is in fact closed, so we settle for a cup of mint tea and ice cream in an old London bus we found tucked round a corner. Hop on the train and wonder if it is ok to arrive unannounced? Is it really a social courtesy to announce your approximate arrival time, or just a habit?

Day 9: My insurance claim came through – my first thoughts? “Great, I could do with a map…” Traipse across town to find all handsets and sim cards (is this really what we rely on?) with my hand-drawn map, which caused a few raised eyebrows in the Apple store. Home in time for bedtime, and a text! My first in a week, bringing happy news from a friend.

Day 10: Reunited! But, oh … Instagram’s gone all facebooky. Eew.


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