Things I've learned from being in a communications drought.
This week my mobile died - well actually the sim card did. You could call it the post Death of BlackBerry era. So I've been in a total phone free zone since Sunday. It's been an interesting week and it's only Wednesday.
I learned that being off the grid is a strange feeling: part nervy worry (what's happening that I don't know about?) and part pure freedom (they don't know where I am - I can do anything). The anything so far has consisted of going to M&S to buy a salad.
Freedom is heady. If I feel this liberated just driving from home to work, work to other work, other work to home, then how would I be properly unfettered? Probably be too much for me, wouldn't it?
I must trust the people who are in charge of my family while I'm not there. Before DOB I had to have the phone with me and switched on. That way I'd know what disaster struck and, of course, be able to saddle up my trusty steed (grubby blue Skoda) and hurtle to the rescue. Now I just have to breathe and trust that nursery, childminder or Panther can cope.
I really miss having the Panther there to talk to all day. We do, normally, text, email, phone and, now, tweet most of the time. It's weird not having him there in my handbag, so to speak.
The wisdom of the Orange lady is dubious. The enthusiastic lisping lady I spoke to at length on Sunday told me that I'd need to visit an Orange shop, that I'd need to buy a new phone, that they'd send me a new phone, that, no, it was the sim card. The card would be couriered - tomorrow after 6pm - no, sorry, posted "you'll need to be in". Sigh. Of course, I'm not in and neither, so far, is my sim card.
I must learn to write friends' phone numbers down too. Julie, Kim, Debbie, Fiona, Jill, Supersister and anyone else who might want to speak to me - I'm not ignoring you. You'll just need to wait, email, facebook or tweet.
De-phoned (disphoned, unphoned?) in a public place is a bit like being naked. Remember when we used to smoke, you could make the business of lighting and smoking a fag fill all the space around you if you were on your own - in a bar (remember?), at the station. It had the effect of making you seem comfortable and assured. Then came the mobile which did it even better - or at least once the mobiles-are-for-yuppies- and-losers quotient crossed the smoking-is-for-smelly-people-who-want-to-be-dead-or-wrinkly-or-both line on the graph. You could loiter there tapping and checking, checking and tapping and no one would think you were Brenda No Mates.
I'm off home shortly, maybe my sim card's there and then I'll see if I've still got any friends left or if, as I suspect, no one but the Panther has noticed I wasn't really there.
How do you cope without your phone?