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Hanging On the Telephone

15 July 2012 by Amy Hansford

I had a brilliant hen weekend. My amazing maid of honour and co found a fantastic house with a maze of rooms, a great chill out lounge plus a pool and jacuzzi. We relaxed, we had the Amylympics and generally escaped from it all which is what we all needed.

I did witness a curious occurance, and probably would not have noticed it had my phone had an ounce of signal. Unintentionally, I ended up on a communications blackout as I only had signal on my mobile in a small area of the bedroom. This turned out to be a good thing – it forced me to relax. I found myself holding a cup of tea with both hands and being able to observe and enjoy everyone having fun. I wasn’t checking my emails, Twitter or Facebook every two minutes*. I had no idea what the rest of the world was up to – I was happy in the one we’d all made in Lincoln.

It also gave me the chance to look around. I saw a room full of friends alternating between sharing the experience of a duvet day and near silence as everyone checked their friends’ Facebook statuses. I saw people take photos of what was happening and upload them as soon as they could. Even on a getaway, people were drawn to share their experiences with the rest of the world rather than with those in the room at the time. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s the world we live in – I just found it curious.

Similarly, on the last night when there were only seven of us, we had a karaoke session. Karaoke is something that is very much a social experience. You reciprocate the support your friends give you while singing by supporting them when it is their turn. I found myself singing a tune and looking out to find silent friends checking their smart phones. Again, that’s now the norm and wouldn’t be noticed in the pub, but it was a strange thing.

I should reitterate, had I had normal reception on my phone, I would have been doing exactly the same.

So what did this experience teach me?

I am too reliant on my phone and, specifically, my internet access.
I’ve started leaving my phone on the table at home rather than having it stuck to me.
I’ve vowed not to live life through a lens – I will watch gigs and shows and giggles, not record them.
I appreciate seeing friends and family and keep reminding myself that tweets, messages and emails won’t disappear if I don’t look at them.

How much do you rely on your phone?

*Yes, that’s pretty much the frequency I check. I am addicted to my iPhone.


2 Comments »

  1. I’m enough of a luddite that I don’t have a smartphone: mine just does voice/SMS, so I don’t have to resist temptation when I’m out and about, which is probably for the best.

    I’ve been out at a few of the public Olympic events recently (e.g. the torch relay and the road cycling), and I noticed that almost everyone had their camera phones out to take pictures as the athletes went past. Typically, they held their cameras up at arm’s length above their heads to get a better view, which made it harder for anyone behind to see what was going on. I can understand wanting to capture the moment at something like a child’s birthday party (even if that makes you a bit removed from it), but in a case like this there will be better quality pictures/video available from the professional organisations. So, I agree with you: it’s best just to enjoy the moment that’s in front of you rather than squinting at a tiny screen.

    • Amy says:

      It’s a bit like people sitting in the Gods at the theatre all leaning forwards – it reuins it for everyone else! I don’t think we’ll be making any announcements on putting phones away during the ceremony other than switching them to silent, but it’s something I’m still mindful of.

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