Shhh. don’t tell my husband but I’m having an emotional affair.
I love my phone. It’s always there giving me the information I ask for and it doesn’t ramble on and on. It connects me with loved ones and professionals. It leads me to where I want to go and doesn’t get lost. It lets me shop for as long as I want, even from the passenger side of the car. It drowns out the noise of the world with music of my choice. It will never leave me, although I may leave it. Then like a dog, when I find it again it springs back to life as though I had never been so careless.
I love my phone and that worries me. I’m worried that I’m losing my memory and my imagination because I love my phone.
I remember a time when I needed my memory first and an address book second in order to call people. I remember a time when I could only call people from my home. I remember a time when I wasn’t tethered to the world and that the world couldn’t get in touch with me all the time, anytime. What have I really gotten from that leash?
Well, I’m losing the acuity of my memory but with all those folk at my beck and call, I feel important and also fake closer to people. Those second feelings seem to far out way what I’m losing.
I remember a time when I had to go to the library to learn stuff. I needed the patience in order to quench my curiosity. I needed the same patience and a certain practical knowledge in order to look up information.
But now we are all developing a form of attention deficit. A question pops up, a curiosity and I can look it up immediately. What I’m losing with regard to patience and impulse control, I’m gaining in immediate reward. Do I remember much of what I look up? Nah. But I love the immediacy. The immediacy rewards me for my growing my loss of impulse control.
I remember a time when I needed a map to go from A to B. Maps are beautiful things. They not only show how to get to where I want to go but what’s in between and all around. When I look at a map I get to imagine other places than my destination. I see where mountains and hills are. Towns. Streams.
Maybe I won’t want to go straight to B. Maps make me use my imagination and my problem-solving skills. My cell phone app gets me to B the fastest way, without, thought. Most of the time, I feel as though I think too much. Maps are thinking work. Not working so hard and getting to where I want to go fast, is worth losing my imagination. Isn’t it?
I remember a time when being alone meant peace and solace Now it feels wrong. I feel as though I should never be alone. Everywhere I look everyone is connecting to someone. They are on their phones- talking, texting, connecting. Shouldn’t I be doing that too? So, I talk, text, connect all the time. It’s nice. But I miss being alone. I miss being moments of being untethered.
I remember a time when I used to rifle through a store filled with albums and CD’s filled with the promise of music. Each disc was magic. The hunt for the right disc led me though many wrong choices and some surprising new choices. I could get lost in those stores hunting, listening, discovering. Then I came home, and waited for a moment, a quiet moment of solace and put on one of those albums and just listened to my prize. But now I have music whenever I want it. It fills my head in the in the times between researching, connecting, and travelling. I don’t have to search through aisles of music because my phone gives me suggestions.. most of the time they’re right. But do I really want right choices all the time? I think that ease of finding and listening make up for the loss of discovery of a new piece of music. It makes up for osing the magic of discovery.