No Phone Home

Red telephone box - London

This week has been interesting in that I haven’t had access to my telephone all week. The feeling of panic instantly hit me, what will I do with no phone? How the heck did we cope without mobile phones and smart phones??

Initially its the practical side of things, getting in contact with my boyfriend, arranging to meet people or needing tell them things. Then it was the email checking for work I was unable to do and checking my Gmail account. Then it was referring to my Thai translator, checking Facebook, using GPS, checking blogs, accessing the news, checking my schedule, taking notes, taking photos, free messaging on Whatsapp with my family at home.

When I originally bought my Smart Phone I was very skeptical thinking I would just use it for messaging and calling. I still don’t think I am using it to its full potential but I am certainly getting my use from it. So life without it, well life without it, I felt disconnected. I was constantly reaching for it. It so hard to find that balance between the addiction of any time having a phone at reach and knowing when its just not apropriate.

I have to say though I went away this weekend and I didn’t even open my laptop once, therefore not seeing a screen for 48 hours, wow it felt good :)

Yes my phone is fully functioning and yes I will be constantly looking at it but I realised that Facebook does not need to be checked everyday a day and I do not need to be replying to students emails at 10pm, life goes on.

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2 Responses to No Phone Home

  1. Avatar of Simon A Simon A says:

    Great article, Natalie .. and one I can very much empathise with! It reminded me of a great article I read on the Mnmlist website on what I can and can’t live without. Heres a link to it:

    link to mnmlist.com

    I often ask myself how I used to cope without constant access to all these communication streams and instantly available information. Living a long way from home, I think expats are even more dependant on these new technologies – it makes the world seem a smaller place and that we are a little bit closer to home. I dread to think what my phone bills would be like without Skype or WhatsApp!

    On a recent trip to Laos, I felt the exaxt same anxiety that you must have felt without access to your phone. Despite reminding myself that the world would not end if i did not check my Facebook page, I was still desperate for internet access. However, after a few days the anxiety faded. I think the odd ‘digital holiday’ is probably good for the soul, even if it doesnt initally feel like it!

    • Thanks so much for your comment Simon, I am glad to hear others that have similar feelings towards technology. I agree with you that as an expat then we are in some ways more reliant and yes I completely agree about how fantastic it has been to have Skype and WhatsApp. The year I lived away from my partner would have caused us years of debt ;). I thought you might find this article interesting
      link to insidehighered.com

      Thanks for the article, it is an interesting way of looking at the idea of ‘need’ and ‘want’. I always think about what would I miss if my apartment burned down? Or what would I grab? My partner, me and umm my laptop, my bag of photos and letter from friends and my phone I think.Another thing that happens to you when you live abroad is that you really just don’t need all of that “stuff” although our smartphone do contain a lot of “stuff” in a very tidy package ;)

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