Dear Future Stella,
Today I had an appointment at the Apple Store so they could fix the camera on my phone. After the guy helping me confirmed that, indeed, something was wrong with my camera he told me I needed to leave my phone with him so they could replace the camera. He smiled, quite pleased with his customer service, and said the process would take an hour. Excuse me? He said it so nonchalantly, as if it’s totally no big deal to not have a phone for an hour. He might as well have asked for my right arm, my uterus, or Current Stella. All of those things are on the same level in the “hard to part with” category. Actually, he can have my uterus. That thing sucks and serves no purpose to me anymore. Even my right arm would be easier to part with considering im left handed and I just acquired substantial long term disability insurance. My phone and Current Stella, though, those are like my prized possessions. I don’t know what I was expecting, my naivety assumed it would be a quick wipe down with a special Apple lens cleanser and, voila, have a nice night.
He was handing out his hand, a gesture that said, “Just give me your phone. Everything will be all right.” I panicked and gave him this pathetic look and said, “I need to send a few texts. Inform people that will be worried if I don’t respond immediately. Can I just have a moment alone, you know, to say goodbye.” He told me to take my time and when I was ready to just drop the phone in the envelope and hand it to any employee. He then told me to come back in an hour. I wanted to freak out and be like, “How the fuck am I supposed to know when an hour has passed? You are taking my only clock you half wit.” I didn’t though, and sent out 20 texts, checked my email and my Instagram one last time before slipping it in the envelope and leaving it behind. After, I did what any concerned person would do after leaving their loved one at the hospital to undergo surgery, I went to a bar. I had a very long hour ahead of me. I didn’t have a book, I didn’t have a friend, I didn’t even have a freaking watch. I felt so lost and empty and totally alone. I sat at the bar and began to immediately nervously tap on the counter. I quickly caught myself and sat on my very nervous hands. I ordered a glass of wine and just kind of scanned the room. This is a bar I have been to many times. It looks really different though, when you are not looking at it through your peripheral vision, you know since I’m usually looking at my phone.
I am completely aware of the fact that my generation is way too connected to our devices and it is reaking havoc on our ability to make real human connections. I even agree with the fact that it’s not healthy or productive or smart. I also know that people in my life have been irritated with me in the past for being too attached to my phone. I genuinely didn’t put myself in that catergory. Da Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt, Stella. Tonight was a wake up call. I couldn’t think of one single thing to do without my phone. My dependency on that thing became apparent when it was taken from me cold turkey. It made me think of you and made me wonder what this could possibly evolve into, you know, in 20 years. After pondering it at the bar, I guessed it could go one of two ways. The first is that cell phones will be the next cigarettes. Meaning, in a short time major evidence will surface about the dangers of phone addictions and people will slowly wean themselves off and eventually, maybe not in 20 years, people will be completely anti and you won’t be able to use a cell phone within a few feet of business and establishments. It will be a “use at your own risk” kind of deal and the stigma against people who still use cell phones will cause many people to conveniently not mention it on their online dating profiles. The second, more scary option, is that people will just have some sort of chip in their brain that acts as their permanent cell phone. That way you can have access 24/7 without the hassle of having to charge it or give it to the Apple Store for an hour. Right now the chip option is looking pretty attractive to me but I know in that gut feeling kind of way, that I need to be better about having space from my phone. I want to be a better role model for you so that if and when the surgeon general tells us to proceed with caution when it comes to cell phones, this will be an easy call for you to make. Haha, no pun intended. Seriously, I didn’t see the pun until I typed it. I love it when that happens.
I’m not making any promises and this might be the no cell phone desperation talking, but I am going to really try to be less dependent on it. It shouldn’t be that hard. I mean, I have an IPad.
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I had to ask the guy next to me at the bar for the time so I would know when to get my phone. He totally thought I was hitting on him and got all flirty. He just told me the time and then turned back to his friends. I was like, ugh, I know the game you are trying to play and this married woman isn’t falling for it. Creep.