On the eve of the release of another new iPhone, another bit of tech that we all know we don't strictly need yet many will still buy, I was sat with Marisa after the kids had gone to bed. We decided we’re going to watch the film version of Madame Bovary having just finished reading Flaubert’s seminal novel.
Marisa went into the kitchen to make us both a coffee before starting the film and what is the first thing I go to do the moment that I’m left on my own. I reached for my phone. It wasn't there. I’d left it upstairs, deliberately, so I could spend an evening without distraction with my wife. "How quaint" I hear you say.
I was alarmed at how automatic the action to grab my phone was. No thought required. It was completely habitual and the realisation that I didn’t have my phone saddened me in that moment. This is bad.
I looked around the room for a moment to find something to stimulate my mind when I decided to sit back and enjoy the nothingness for a brief moment.
I sipped the last of my imperial stout, noting the rich cherry flavour that burst through, I hadn’t tasted that yet.
The silence pierced through me and I could hear and feel my breathing, ripples of oxygen percolating through my lungs.
The comfort of the couch and be warmth of the cushion beside me where Marisa sat moments ago.
An extended blink, a fleeting instant of darkness and there stood Marisa, coffee in hand.
I find myself rapt in the cacophony of a world that never sleeps at my fingertips and spend too little time experiencing life as it happens to in every waking second. I don't think I'm the only one.
Try leaving your phone on silent or even better airplane mode, in another room and feel liberated. Communication and connection is an essential part of our lives and our phones play an integral role in this, we don't need this connectivity 24/7.
It's time to demobilise the mobile.
To put the cell in a cell.
To disconnect with the rest of the world for just a few hours and to reconnect with what's right in front of you.