Immobilization: living without a cell phone

In today’s world, carrying a mobile phone on your person is as expected and as important as carrying a wallet — internet access, banking information, audio/video contact and dozens of other features, all at your fingertips.

Asking for someone’s cell phone number is as common as asking for his or her mailing address. With major cell phone providers offering a $0 device, (provided you sign a contract), you would actually be insane not to own one— right?

How would you navigate to an address of uncertain whereabouts? How would you text someone your exact location when meeting up? How would you Snapchat the hilarious image of your comically manipulated face to a friend? Surely, it is downright nonsensical to part ways with an instrument of such importance.

Well, fair reader, I’ve taken the plunge in the name of journalism to explore the phenomenon I have dubbed “Immobilization”.

Yes, I have spent the last three weeks in the complete absence of a mobile phone. Albeit, not by choice, as I accidentally abandoned my iPhone 4s in a Waterloo taxi (which, on a side note, if you have seen it, please contact me.)     Nonetheless, I am here to walk you through a day completely disconnected from the cellular grid.

Mornings are generally the same, provided, of course, your phone wasn’t also your alarm clock. (You’re going to want to purchase one, if that is the case.) You will have to resort to your laptop as a primary tool of communication, and check for any e-mails and Facebook messages.

It’s at this point that you realize you did not attend the meeting you were invited to the night previously. Your group sent multiple texts and e-mails trying to get a hold of you, all of which went unnoticed, as you were happily strolling to Ethel’s to enjoy what you believed to be a rare free evening. Not to worry, a few apologetic Facebook messages will cure that.

Now to get to the bus! It comes at — oh wait, you no longer have the GRT app. That’s okay though, just simply text the stop number! Shit. Alright, well, what time is it now? That’s right, your phone was your watch. (I’d suggest purchasing one of these when you’re buying your alarm clock.) Oh well, just make it to the stop and whenever it comes, it comes.

You will notice that waiting for anything feels like an eternity, as you are devoid of your primary entertainment device, and you have lost the ability to scan Tumblr, Vine, Twitter, etc. You can’t even pretend to be in the middle of a very deep conversation to avoid strained conversation with the weirdly friendly man beside you.

So, you finally arrive at your destination, whether it is work, school, a cubicle in the library to study, wherever. You get into a groove and before you know it, it’s noon. Holy shit! You actually spent the last three hours focused. Weird! It’s almost as though you didn’t have eight different types of information constantly distracting you.

To be fair, one of them was your angry significant other, upset that you haven’t spoken to them, but you’ve had no way of knowing that! You don’t have a phone, you have beaten the system! You are immune!

So, the workday has come to a close, and you decide to celebrate just how much of an amazing vessel of productivity you are!

Now, if only you had some disposable income that you could exchange for beverages. If only there was some form monthly payment you could shed.     Boom, see you later Rogers bills, hello irresponsible Phil’s! Look at that. Now you’re even making clever rhymes, you device-less modern day hero you!

In a nutshell, living without a phone has its benefits, and its detriments.  It’s frustrating to lose all of the wireless privileges you’ve grown accustomed to.     However, once you have come to terms with it, you can expect a less hectic, more focused, organic lifestyle.

You are a more observant, more resourceful and better-looking individual on average. You become one with yourself.

Until, of course, your mother angrily e-mails you and instructs you to purchase a new phone, ending your vacation from oppression, your short-lived experiment with “Immobilization”.

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