Wednesday 16 October 2019

Losing your phone can be a debilitating experience

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

By Justine O'Mahony

For years I could never understand the attraction of Smart Phones.

For a long time I made do with a bockety 'aul motorola that just about made calls. I'd love to say it's because I'm a person of principle, but it's not. It's because I'm always a few years behind my peers when it comes to trends. Call me a late starter! Anyway it was inevitable that I would cave in the end and now I'm the owner of a Microsoft Lumia that does everything bar wash the dishes.

And although I was late to the party, I am now one of the worst offenders when it comes to social media and overuse of mobile phones. I am constantly checking my phone for updates on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest. I sleep with my phone beside the bed. It is the first thing I check in the morning and I bring it everywhere with me.

So you can imagine my distress when I realised on my way to Dublin for a girlie night out recently that I had left my phone behind! I felt like my right arm had been chopped off. Every five minutes I'd reach down to check my phone only to realise it wasn't there. I was panicked, stressed and worried about how I wasn't contactable if something bad happened.

But by the time we got to Dublin I had gotten over it. After a few glasses of Prosecco I felt completely liberated. No one had texted me with any bad news, I couldn't read any comments on social media that might bother me, I was basically free to enjoy my night out without interruption.

The next morning I still wasn't missing it. I borrowed a friend's phone to ring home and bought a newspaper to catch up on world events. We decided to split up for a few hours to go shopping and arranged to meet on Grafton Street at a specified time.

I arrived five minutes early and loitered outside M & S. Fifteen minutes later there was still no sign of my friend. I started to get worried. Twenty minutes later I was seriously concerned. What if she had collapsed in an alleyway? Or being abducted by criminals or worse still, forgotten about me and driven home!

I had no phone! No way of contacting her. I was all alone in the Big Smoke and I had.....NO BLOODY PHONE. (Drama Queen much?) Eventually I accosted two ladies working in the M & S cafe and explained my situation. They said I could use the shop phone. Except I didn't know her number! In the end I rang Himself who rang the friend who finally turned up 35 minutes late cool as a breeze and wondering why I was so distraught.

The over-reaction was due to me feeling untethered and isolated. Yes I do spend too much time on my phone but they are also a necessary means of communication. Having no phone can make you vulnerable but you don't have to sleep with it under your pillow!

The moral of this story-as Darina Allen would say-everything in moderation!

Wexford People