My Phone Died, Thank God
Updated: Feb 13
Offt! So recently I experienced the breakdown of my relationship. What a gnarly time that was. As always when a relationship ends, it hurts and there is a process of grieving that must take place in order to make it out the other side. I moved to an epic new pad, was suddenly getting lots of writing jobs and I decided to immerse myself in the world of online dating. It was in the name of fun ok? A bit of distraction, a bit of attention. No problem, right?
In the name of fun it quickly turned into a consuming addiction? Yes, it got like that. The phone pings! A new admirer. Hey this is fun. Suddenly my sadness has dissipated because look how desired I am. Swiping left, swiping right. Every second when there’s nothing to do swiping left and swiping right. I very quickly turned cyborg and my phone was now an extension of myself. Cooking dinner with my phone in my hand, at the park with my phone in my hand, reading bedtime stories with my phone flashing incessantly in the corner of my eye. Waking up at 3am and checking my god damn phone!
It got ridiculous. It still is ridiculous. The only reason why my addiction has momentarily been curbed is because my phone broke mid use yesterday. I actually thought to myself, thank god for that. My self-control had left the building. Now what is it exactly? It’s no secret that notifications from our mobile phones release dopamine in our brains. I knew this yet I couldn’t stop or switch off. The other side of these apps is that we are never able to sit in our discomfort. Gone are the days where we anxiously await a text from our crush. We can easily fill the waiting period with praise and conversation from other suitors.
I soon realised after an in-depth conversation with my ex that I was not processing my grief. I was merely covering it up with the dopamine rush of apps. Ping Ping Ping went my phone, ever so enticingly. Move aside sadness and welcome excitement. This evading of feelings did catch up to me. As did my guilt. I could see myself foregoing my real life because I was stuck inside my phone. The once lovely distraction had become a giant distraction to my real life.
It made me reflect on the Michael Leunig cartoon that many were outraged by. It was labelled as condescending judgement and feminist author Clementine Ford labelled him a f**cking gronk. I wonder if his cartoon struck such a nerve because it carried with it some element of truth. The image could easily represent me as a new mum. No, I never dropped Ruby from the pram, but I became very good at steering my Bugaboo one armed with my phone in the other. The cartoon did resonate with me, as uncomfortable as it was to admit.
My ex wisely told me, get off your phone and sit in your feelings until the answer comes to you. I have to thank him for that. I’d like to say that’s what I did, but really my phone had to completely cark it for that to occur.
So, now I sit here and ponder my way forward. I need my phone for work and obviously everything in life, leaving it in its broken state is not going to happen. But when I do get that little bad boy fixed, how will I be? How will I put all of my recent realisations into play and action a plan that is not down that same road?
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