Rick Nease, Detroit Free Press
Phoneless and forlorn
- Article by: GAUTHAM RAO
- June 17, 2012 - 8:17 PM
So, it's been a week since I lost my smartphone. I could imagine it was an awful death -- lonely, cold, surrounded by ever rising water enclosed within a porcelain bowl, gasping for its last Gmail sync.
If you haven't figured it out, yes -- I dropped my phone in the toilet. I cannot tell you how aware I have since become of my inability to operate without it. Let's go down the list, shall we?
Hands. I realized quickly that without a smartphone to occupy at least one of my hands, I don't know what to do with them when waiting. Sure, I can always put them in my pocket, but for how long? Waiting for the bus with my hands in my pockets leads to further thoughts: "Why do I have loose string in my pocket -- what happens if I pull it?" "Is that a zit on my leg?" "I wonder if I can drop my keys through the hole in the pocket and catch it in my shoes without anyone noticing?"
So, instead, I find myself standing like my dad -- hands clasped behind my back, shoulders straight, rocking back and forth on my heels, belly sticking out, and judging all these "kids" around me. Quite depressing.
Driving. Imagine this. You are stuck in traffic. No one to talk to, for ages. Katy Perry is getting played again on the radio and no, it's not Friday night. Now, if I had my phone, I'd start down the list -- call my best bud, some friends I haven't talked to in awhile, maybe my wife (yes, she is third down the list). Instead, here I am, bopping to Justin Bieber rapping (rapping!), and wondering if I could get away with just climbing on that shoulder for just a bit.
Memory aid. Remember the old days when you knew numbers? How about directions? Appointments? Birthdays? Yeah -- I don't remember those days either.
"Angry Space Birds." Nuff said. I don't care if I have all the golden stars -- this game rocks!
Stranger danger. I work in corporate America in the Midwest. This means people in black/gray suits, black/brown shoes, with slick haircuts, flashy ties, and an aversion to ever looking anyone in the eye. Having a phone with which you can pretend to do something is a blessing in a crowded elevator. No longer do you have to strain up at the elevator display and count every single floor till you hit yours (the 30th). No longer do you have to stare at the shoes of the person in front of you (in an attempt to give you slightly more space but also make it seem like you are not looking at the person's butt). Now take away the phone and the lack of indifference -- all of a sudden these poor (well, rich) people have to deal with one person staring right at them with a creepy Hannibal Lecterish smile.
Toilet time. I cannot recall the last time I answered the call with no reading, browsing or mailing items in hand. I've counted the number of tiles on my floor (42), the number of cracks along the wall (3), and the amount of hair collecting in the corner of the outside of the bathtub (too much).
Life's rough this way.
Gautham Rao lives in Hopkins.
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