Tech Addiction is Real: My "I Forgot My Phone" Timeline

Tech Addiction is Real: My "I Forgot My Phone" Timeline

Jennifer Hunter
Mar 25, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We are all begrudgingly trying to be less glued to our phones, right? So what happened when I accidentally left my phone at home entire day? It was an emotional roller coaster with some pretty solid takeaways. Here's my timeline.

9:15 — I hop down the subway steps, slide my card and push through the turnstile just as the train pulls into the station. Lucky! I step into the car and reach for my phone to pull up my latest Kindle book. IT'S. NOT. THERE. Unlucky!

9:16 — Stolen? I don't think so. I mentally retrace my steps. Yep, I plugged it in to try and grab a few extra minutes of charging juice. Dummy. Never do that!

9:17 — I'm not proud of it, but I start to panic a little. My mind speeds through all the possible scenarios that could happen to me without a phone. Getting lost? Totally, that happens all the time even with GPS. Missing important texts and calls? Possible. I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm kinda a big deal. I probably get upwards of three, maybe even four completely non-essential and usually gossip related texts a day. And I have to answer them IMMEDIATELY.

9:45 — Arrive at my desk and settle in. Reach for my phone to set it out on my desk. Oh right. Log into email and feel weirdly disconnected that I only have one place to check it. Then start a mind-spiral about how I'm too dependent on technology and missing my life. Then start to think about how even now, without my phone physically present, it's still using up a good chunk of my attention and probably giving me tech neck.

9:50 — I Google "tech neck." Don't ever do that.

9:51 — I work.

10:35 — I go to the kitchen, make a coffee and try to check my phone again. Duh.

11:25 — Realize I forgot to tell my boyfriend some actually important dog-walking related news that morning. Reach for my phone to text him. I'm really not getting this. Email instead. Everything is okay.

1:15 — I go to get lunch. It's a nice day. I look around and enjoy the short walk to my salad place. I wait in line to pay and I can't pull out my phone like 95% of the other line-waiters are doing. I watch them instead. It's pretty fun. I feel like I'm enjoying this wait more than they are. Am I actually winning at life right now?

1:37 — I get back to my office with my lunch. I have some emails that came in while I was away that I haven't seen yet. The world has not ended. I still have a job.

3:15 — I remember I'm meeting a friend after work and panic. She is probably trying to get in touch with me and confirm our plans right now! I email her. She had forgotten, too. We decide to meet at a specific time at a specific place because I can't just call her.

3:23 — I work.

3:24- 5:12 — I find myself reaching for my phone several more times for really, no reason at all except that it feels weird not to. Muscle memory is a scary thing.

5:12 — I want to show my coworker a photo so I reach for my phone — again! — and find it missing. Again.

6:34 — I use my computer to map a route to the restaurant where I'm meeting my friend. It's complicated. I write it down on a piece of paper and put it in my purse. You know, like the olden days.

7:12 —I leave and follow said directions to the letter. Still, I can't find this place. Numbers on buildings in New York are nearly non-existent. I wander. I wander. It's annoying and stressful and cold. I'm late (Probably! I can't even check the time! Ahhhh!).

7:45 — I remember that I'm surrounded by people, many other people who live in this neighborhood. I select a nice-looking gentleman and ask him for help. He helps me. I'm on the wrong block.

7:49 — I arrive at my destination and see my friend sitting at the bar, reading her phone. I feel slightly superior. Doesn't she know that that thing is numbing her creativity and giving her tech neck? I guess not.

The takeaway? My tech is fun and it's helpful a lot of the time, but it's also creepy how much I've come to rely on something that is not my own brain to live my life. Maybe you read about my day and thought to yourself, "I wouldn't feel like that, I'm not addicted." That's what they all say. I dare you: try it for a day and see how you fare. Then come back and tell us about it.

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