“It’s not you, it’s me”.
There’s no reply.
I reflect for a second, on our relationship, on the time that we’ve spent together.
Every day. Every hour of every day, even when I’m sleeping, never more than a stretch away.
I panic when we’re apart. Like a limb is missing. It makes me feel vulnerable, bored and a little sad.
“It’s just that, I’ve become so reliant on you. I can’t even answer a question without checking the answer with you first.”
My phone does not reply, it just sits, blank screened waiting to be picked up like a child. I’m not sure what it is, but I cannot resist it. Even when it does not ask to be picked up; no flash, no notification, no phone call but, I pick it up regardless. My thumbprint lives on the screen. We are one.
It’s just so, diverse. There is so much possibility on that tiny little screen. I can call someone in India. I can find out what time the shop closes so I do not walk there to no avail. I can see to the minute how long it will take me to get to where I want to go. I can listen to conversations about climate change or feminist sex positions. I can take pictures of things that I want to remember. I can check if I have spinach in my teeth. I can pretend to be on the phone when I see someone that I don’t want to bump into. Music plays throughout my day. I’m never far away from conversations with the ones I love. I can spell.
But alas, we must take a break. It’s too ‘facilitating’.
Yes of course all of the above is helpful, beneficial and are all of the qualities that made me fall in love with the phone in the first place. But, this love is not mutual, there is too much enabling. My phone enables my negative behaviours. I can scroll for hours on Instagram comparing my thighs to the thighs of fitness models. I can look up my ex-boyfriends and their new girlfriends and their new girlfriend’s friends and their new girlfriend’s friend’s Mum. I can see that I rarely reach the desired 10,000 step count. I can take pictures of myself for 20 minutes and make myself feel less attractive prior to the selfie-session. I naively share my data from periods to face recognition with corporate companies and fuel capitalism, from my sofa. I watch a TV programme and hear the questions ‘how old is he’ or ‘I wonder what she’s worth’ and subsequently spend an hour reading the Wikipedia page of the entire cast of an ITV drama. I can go to coffee with a friend and have no questions to ask because I’ve seen it all on their Instagram stories and when I start my favourite anecdote, they already know how it ends.
It just has to stop.
“I love you but, I need you too much. I’ve tried to just delete the apps, but the problem is it’s very easy to go back on the App store and re-download the Apps.”
If my phone was a man, and this was a relationship, it would be a toxic one. It does everything for me, I’m influenced by it greatly and it has far too much control over my life. I can’t sit down to watch the news without simultaneously checking the news on my phone. It’s ludicrous.
I am infatuated with my phone and it’s most definitely not reciprocated.
I’m not sure how I will function without it. Ridiculous I know, but how will I be able to check the weather or the bus times. Could probably just look out of the window for the weather and walk to the bus stop. I won’t miss Instagram. I will, desperatley. Perhaps I’ll get a nokia and fulfill the cliche of a Goldsmiths student with hairy armpits. Or I could start writing letters and taking pictures on a kodak.
“You’re not saying much, and I’m upset that you’re not fighting for this relationship. Treat them mean and keep them keen? Well it’s working”.
I want to be able to use my phone for the good bits. For the entertainment and Uber. So it’s about regulating the bad bits. Limiting my time spent doing fuck all and procrastinating whilst still being able to listen to ‘Does your Mother Know that You’re Out’ as I walk to the train.
“It would be great if you could just give me some space. So, I’m just going to trun you off until I need you, I mean really need you. Like an emergency or necessity. Thank you so much for being patient, and for listening.’
My phone does not reply.