My love of the mobile phone has extended to the bathroom. Like most married men, I love to sit in there for a while with a newspaper but at other times I’m likely to be tapping my touchscreen rather than turning over pages.
The mobile phone is ubiquitous. We sleep with them, we keep them close and I’m sure most of you have taken them to the toilet as well. But I’m noting a change in my device dependence and a move towards living without them.
Mobile phones are rather like the mobile internet was 15 years ago. In those days, the mobile internet could be seen, saved and taken away by a mobile phone, but not seen live. It was only on arrival at a PC that it could be reloaded.
So it is with a mobile. A conversation with a person by voice or text is just a conduit to when you finally see that person. As much as you love your mobile you probably love your friend more, if it’s for business, you never sign a deal over the phone, you do it in the flash, er flesh.
So this week I lost my mobile. It’s about the tenth time I’ve done so and because I’m an idiot I never seem to back up my numbers and for nine of those times I’ve been frantic. This time, and at a particularly busy time, it was different.
I didn’t ring my operator straight away, I thought it would turn up and I spent all day without it. I didn’t check my voicemails and the next day I finally worked out that I must have left it on a train.
Two days later the SIM arrived and I fished around an old suitcase and found an ancient handset. I activated it later that morning and realised I’d lost 350 phone numbers and emails… but I didn’t care.
Over the last 24 hours I now have around 30 contacts on the phone, the most relevant numbers I need and any urgent business was all conducted on Twitter. I realise it may have been annoying for people trying to call me but if they wanted to contact me they knew where my Twitter and email was.
It felt like a clean slate, throwing off the encumbrances of a packed contacts list and time to start again. Let’s hear it for the purge of the tabula rasa. No panic, a lot of Zen and guess what, nothing terrible has happened. Friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now prepare yourself for morning maniac music.
Whether this annunciation is long-lasting, who knows? I may even stop taking my mobile to the toilet, but it’s that time of day and I need a Forest Gump, so I’ll leave that thought with you and go and read the paper.