Last month my bag not swiped from right next to my foot mid-celebrating my birthday. Beyond the initial emotional trauma of being stuck in London with no money, no train tickets, no phone and no keys there was also the fact that I had been subjected to (against my will) a bucket load of life admin. My definition of life admin is usually an act which is partaken at one’s leisure but here I was calling up banks, loyalty card schemes, Vodafone, the police whenever I could find 5 minutes when I was at work.
It’s so easy to think that the moment someone steals your possessions that they also steal your identity; they have your drivers license, your keys, your phone with all your pictures on (the cheeky git even got my makeup). When in reality, I felt more in the ‘now’ than I’ve ever felt, taking note of things I’d always missed when I was looking down at my smartphone. The week my bag got nicked was a week, I had more time, I was never late and I saved money, so this is what happened in the week when I did the involuntary smartphone detox.
Enter the Nokia…
The king of all phones, the Nokia (aka. festival phone). Using this phone is a delight, despite sending out some cryptic looking texts (mostly down to impatience) and forgetting to reply to people (turns out it doesn’t auto-save drafts and I am the queen of drafts). When using a crappy Nokia, pedestrians don’t really get mad, they were more entertained at the sight of me using two hands to text on a 0-9 keypad. The Nokia helped my concentration levels, beyond the point of a call or a text there was only one game I could play on the phone and one game only…snake. I didn’t even need to find the battery charger because I was plain sailing on four notches on the battery for a whole 7 days, smug face. Finally, at the James Bay gig, I laughed at all the smartphone holders because there I was watching everything LIVE, not through the lens of a shitty iPhone.
I played the ‘guess who texted me to wish me happy birthday game’
I didn’t quite realise how traumatising it’d be to get a huge number of texts on a phone which doesn’t have any numbers, it wasn’t fun writing up my first few replies ‘Bag got stolen on temp phone with no numbers’ – there was just no glossing over the glaringly obviousness of the crap situation I was in. It’s actually a much more fun game when you start guessing who texted you, luckily alot of my friends responded well to my fairly accurate guess work. Birthday texts mean alot, ok it’s not a card but beggars not choosers right – it means they actually felt like my birthday wishes were worth more than a Facebook post or a Whatsapp, the text was a digital middle-grounder. So thank you, I’m very grateful.
P.S. if you didn’t get a reply, my phone doesn’t save drafts – not my fault.
I had all the time.
I was on time to all social events that week, mainly because co-ordinating meet ups via email/Facebook or the Nokia was usually pretty punchy ‘6pm, Thekla, don’t have whatsapp, see you there’. I knew that if I was running late, I would probably have to waste another 15 minutes trying to find the contact in my phonebook or write them a message, so instead I was always on time. It’s not to say that a smartphone makes me late, but I do take note of the time I was late to see my friend Jem because I was watching a crappy video of Zoella doing her hair, smartphones are the gateway to useless information that suck up your attention when you really should be out the door.
Went back to basics
No makeup bag and limited funds meant I was just sporting foundation and mascara (a much more simpler collection than my previous bag, the lucky thieves had benefitted from a Boots’ shop – my night serum is probably in a gutter). But then in all fairness, WTF was I doing with a night serum in the first place. The week I just had to apply foundation and mascara to my face was the easiest morning routine ever.. early for work and clearer skin as a result of it.
Experiences vs Material posessions
Ok so I miss my SLR camera alot but I really don’t deserve to get it back after leaving it in a black cab (Christmas 2014) and not bothering to insure it when I got it back. Instead of buying a replacement, I figured there’s a few other things I want to do first, I’ve joined a swimming pool and I’ve bought a new bike – this new lease of life has all come from the stolen bag saga. Needless to say, in all of this I realised I was more a ‘glass is half full’ person.