I’ve been keeping a little secret over the past year.
It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s definitely not something I want to sing out to the world. But in the interests of honesty, I don’t feel like I can keep it to myself any more. So here, now, is the big reveal.
I own a mobile phone.
There. I’ve said it. Now the whole world knows (or at least the minuscule portion of the world that reads this blog).
I’d resisted getting a phone for so long. After all, what did I need one for? I got along perfectly fine without one. And, as I watched the people out in the street or sitting on the tram with their eyes glued to their tiny screens, I always used to tell myself I was better off. I was free to engage the world with my eyes and ears, rather than being captive to a small electronic device.
So maybe my social life wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire. So maybe I didn’t have the broadest circle of friends and I wasn’t out and about every night. I didn’t mind. I enjoyed being the odd one out, the one person who chose to live their life phone free. I enjoyed that sense of not feeling like a slave, required to check in with my phone every few minutes.
So why did things change? Why did I succumb to the lure of that little electronic device? Primarily, because of my job issues last year. I suddenly discovered that I needed to be available to receive messages from prospective employers. The need to get a new job was definitely a great enough carrot to overcome my reluctance to enter the mobile phone age.
Since then, it has proven it’s value. Several weeks ago, my car broke down, and it was a handy thing to be able to call for help. But apart from that, it hasn’t changed my life in a big way. To be honest, I rarely even have it turned on – now that I’m comfortably employed again, I don’t see the need. And I’ve only provided the number to a handful of people. If anyone else wants to contact me, I’m really not hard to find.
Because while I recognise the value a mobile phone can provide, I’m happy to minimise its use. I want to engage with the world directly, rather than having it mediated through a device. I want to view the world with my own eyes, not through a screen. I want to hear the world with my own ears, not through a set of ear buds. When it comes down to it, I don’t need any of those things. I can manage the world in my own way.
Dare I say it – I don’t need any extra apps, because I am my own app.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as