It's an unusually sunny Saturday afternoon in Battersea Park, and I am taking deep breaths to stop myself from hyperventilating. I have just dropped my iPhone. My uninsured life support, with a not-too-shabby price tag of £600, has transformed into a pile of broken glass and chipped plastic mixed amongst gravel on the pavement. Someone might as well have just hit me.
Did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did. And as I read that sentence back to myself with alarming disgust and horror, the reality sets in: I am addicted to my iPhone. Unnervingly, my future is creeping up on me and it won't be long before, in an ironic twist of fate, my phone turns around to destroy me too.
Mentally, I have tried to defend myself. It's not completely irrational to break down when you've lost over half a thousand pounds worth of technology and face a bill of nearly £200 just to fix it. In fact, the situation becomes even more understandable when I contextualise things. I am a stereotypical penniless student scraping my way through summer without my beloved student loan to fall back on. Sigh of relief, I am sane after all! Not quite.
A couple of hours pass and I can't quite shake the overwhelming-bordering-on-mad sense of grief towards the loss of my late right hand man. To clarify, this is coming from a person who juggles three jobs whilst at university and lives with fourteen girls: I can do stress. Even after the blow has been lessened (the dodgy unnamed phone shop down the road will do the job for just £110) the trauma drags on and irrationality starts setting in.
Mum thinks the phone might be covered under our house insurance, but she can't remember, she's lost the papers and the insurance company aren't open until Monday. Well that's just not good enough mum, it's only Saturday, and I need answers, NOW.
Faced with the choice of an unofficial patch up or a painfully long countdown, I crack - just like my iPhone. I am en route to the Apple store, I have succumbed to pay the premium; the summer holidays I have painfully saved for can take the blow, not my poor, sweet, precious phone. It is replaced and whilst I am understandably bitter for having imparted with my hard earned cash, the uncontrollable hysteria I have been suppressing, albeit badly, is gone, just like that.
It's now Monday morning and my ritual dose of weekend blues has been served up with a chilling side order of reality. Who am I and what just happened? I search for explanations, excuses, scapegoats, anything to make sense of my madness. Alas, I find nothing and the tumbleweed comes rolling in en masse.
Instead, I'm starting to piece it all together like a jigsaw without a picture. I feel like an addict making a guilty confession because, admittedly, this is not the first time this is happened.
Without going into detail, this first incident involved a dead battery. Long story short: I was meant to meet someone, my phone died, I didn't know what to do, irrational syndrome kicked in and I very nearly avoided what was about to turn into a 'scene'.
On this occasion, the situation was even more ridiculous (yes, this is possible). Although it was mixed with some emotional stress at the thought of not being able to meet the person I had arranged to, it exposed just how helpless I really am. The whole situation has become even more alarming since I've considered the bigger picture: I am one hundred percent dependent on a slim rectangular source of information.
Yes, technology addiction is nothing new, but actually has anyone really considered how this addiction manifests itself? Is this a health or sociological issue? In short, am I going crazy? The whole episode made me re-evaluate the way I use technology. I have concluded that unless I undergo some form of tech rehab, my phone will eventually destroy any ounce of initiative, independence and intelligence I have left; a future that certainly does not look bright.
So it's goodbye goodnight tweets, last minute facebook checks and quick instagram updates. Hello, good old-fashioned reading, tidying my room and going for a jog.Suggest a correction