Yesterday I went out to the local shop at lunchtime. I was in a bit of a hurry as I had come out of one virtual meeting later than expected and had to hurry back for another. But I got to the shop, bought the couple of things I needed, and set off home before I realised I didn’t have my phone.
I paused in the middle of the street and did a quick mental check of pockets and was shocked to realise there was no way I’d dropped it or left it in the shop: I must have left my phone at home.
This is almost unheard of for me. My partner makes fun of the fact that I carry the phone with me from room to room at home at all times, even on weekends.
There’s no doubt that I suffer from acute FOMO.
Of course, like all addicts, I hide it well, making excuses by saying that I need the phone on hand in case a client calls. Or perhaps there will be an urgent call about my aged mother.
And when I go out, I say I need the phone to listen to a podcast or audio book, or take notes for things I need to do or write later.
And, of course, I also need the phone to use as a camera. After all, if I don’t take pictures to document my walks, what will I post on this blog or other social media?
If I didn’t carry the phone with me, I wouldn’t have documentary proof of the advance of spring: the top two photos of almost solitary blossoms were taken on a walk last weekend. The other pictures were taken this morning. It’s the same tree, just a week apart, and there’s no doubt that spring is upon us.
That’s my excuse for fretting about always having my phone within hand’s reach. Though I do admit that some people could see things differently.
Here’s a poem I wrote a couple of years ago when I was poet-in-residence at the local TEDx:
Heads down, smartphones grasped tight, we want to be connected, kept in constant touchscreen contact with those friends we’ve never met. Our homes are in our hands, our families are partying without us on a five-inch screen; the FaceBook light is bright and – swipe – it’s impossible to stop: we’re afraid of missing out on all the gossip; we may put them in our pockets but they’ll goose us with a greeting, never mind we’re on the bus or in a meeting with the boss.
Don’t pause to think.
Just pick up and click that link.