What I Learned Not Having a Phone for 8 Days

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

We recently went on a vacation to Paris. After looking into the roaming plans and their cost, we decided to leave our phones at home for the vacation.

I knew it would bug me, but I had no idea how or how I’d react.

A little background before we begin. I haven’t been without a cellphone since 2002. In high school, I was the dork with the digital organizer. I had an HTC-Dream in 2009 and remember Android 1.6 Cupcake. All that tells you I’m a little of a gadget nerd and haven’t been far from the convenience in almost a decade.

One of the first pictures I took and posted directly from my HTC-Dream to Facebook in October 2009. (604×402 pixels in size)

Like most people my age, I rarely make phone calls with my phone. Only when I have to or if I want to speak with my older relatives.

What I didn’t miss

I expected to miss the constant social connection of my phone, but it’s the part I missed the least. It was actually kind of nice to disconnect and ignore things that weren’t important.

I’m a little bit of a digital hoarder. Take for exemple that before this trip I had a mailing list subscription to TeeFury in 3 of my 5 emails.

The vacation and only being able to clean out my facebook and email once a day, sometimes less, gave me the push I needed to start cleaning out subscriptions, groups, and even a few friends.

What I have now is a quarter the amount of incoming emails and a lot less of an urge to check my phone every four seconds.

What I did miss but was glad I didn’t have

The camera on my phone is exceptional and I have a nasty habit of relying on it too much. I have a fantastic Mirrorless SLR and need to use it more often. No matter how good your phone’s camera is, at the moment, an SLR will be much better.

This forced me to reach into my bag and grab the camera instead of just pulling out my phone.

What I missed

Being able to search for random information, directions, locations, and even identify landmarks; was something I truly missed about my phone.

The ability to pull out my phone and be told what a landmark is and its history is extremely useful. Being able to ask where to find the closest café is extremely useful. Being able to find out the hours of operations for business over a holiday is useful.

I have terrible handwriting so being able to write a list for groceries on my phone is something that I love. The list is shared with my wife so if she forgets something while I’m out, she can add it to the list no problem.

Despite being French Canadian, there was a language barrier and some words I had no idea what they meant. It would have been nice to have a universal translator in my pocket for shopping.

We went to Paris with my in-laws and being able to separate without detailed plans of where and when to meet is something I greatly missed.

I also missed being able to listen to music, read, play games, and jot down ideas.

 

I still think that the roaming is excessively expensive, but I sure missed the convenience of having my phone.

Éric

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Quantum Echoes – Word of the Day – Animus

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“Ghosts don’t exist! They just don’t. To believe in ghosts is the domain of children, the religious, and idiots.” I was being harsh and I knew it.

“What if I told you I could help you see them, with an app for your cellphone?” The woman looked completely rational, if a little silly, talking about ghosts in a fairy-tale worthy ball gown.

I adjusted the top of my dress self-consciously; I shouldn’t have worn a strapless dress. I didn’t have anything to keep it up and it was tight enough to make me feel suffocated but not to stay in place. With my clothes back in place, I snorted derisively, “Are you, a scientist, going to tell me you actually believe that the souls of the dead wander the earth? Must be awfully crowded. Is this app going to cost me a dollar and then show me cartoon Caspers in Augmented Reality?”

I’m not sure where my animus was coming from. I didn’t believe in ghosts, but I normally didn’t try arguing with people about it. Maybe it was the golden award for innovation that she held or the fact that she wasn’t just successful but wealthy and ridiculously beautiful. I wanted to be her and be with her all at the same time.

“Tamsym. I’m serious. This is going to change the way we see well…” she waved her perfectly manicured hands around, “everything.”

Sighing and wishing I’d stayed home instead of coming to this stupid gala, I said, “Fine. What’s the app?”

A mad glimmer flashed in her eyes, something better suited to Doctor Frankenstein, and said, “Give me your phone and I’ll install it.” I gave her my work phone and she talked while she did something to it. “I’m not saying they’re souls in the biblical way. I think they’re quantum echoes, a copy of us that is emotionally embedded into the fabric of the universe.”

It sounded like a bunch of technical terms smooshed together, but I wasn’t the award winning physics scientist that she was, I was just a lowly biologist. “What?”

“When something happens that is extremely emotional, it leaves a mark on the physical location. It’s an emotional quantum echo. Like a double exposed photograph.” I should have known something odd was going on. The woman in front of me shouldn’t have remembered a time before digital photography. “The most amazing part is that the echoes aren’t necessarily from the past or our reality.”

Giving me my phone back, she smiled. It was halfway between the smile you give a lover and the smile a cartoon cat gives a cartoon mouse. I looked at my phone and clicked the Quantum Echo app and looked at the screen.

It activated my camera, and as with every other augmented reality app, it showed the world as it is with an overlay of something else. In this case, it showed a ghostly outline of myself and the beautiful woman walking away hand in hand. “Is this a joke?” I asked.

“No.” she continued to smile.

I followed the shadows through the halls of the meeting hall until they walked through a door. I followed into the large closet and gasped at seeing myself in the screen of my phone kiss the other woman. I walked into the closet and heard a small click as the door closed behind me.

The me in the screen turned to look directly at the camera. Her face was twisted in terror with large eyes. She was saying something but the app didn’t show audio. She continued to try and say something and I started to try and read lips. She gave me the finger and pointed behind me. I tried to turn around and see what was behind me, but I never finished the turn…


If you enjoyed this word of the day story, you can find more on our stories page and catch up on this year’s serial story, The Database of the Ageless Kings.

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Crochet Cell Phone Cases

My wife has been making awesome crochet cell phone cases.

There’s a Tardis, a Jayne Hat, and soon star trek uniforms.

Check out her store at Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JenEricDesigns

Crocheted Cell Phone Case shaped like a tardis  Crocheted Cell phone Case that looks like a Jayne Hat

We took awesome pictures this summer at Disney world of a large stuffed Tardis she made. It’s awesome and you can follow it at: http://crochettardis.blogspot.com/

A stuffed Tardis

Please follow and like us:

Crochet Cell Phone Cases

Crocheted Cell Phone Case shaped like a tardis

My wife has been making awesome crochet cell phone cases.

There’s a Tardis, a Jayne Hat, and soon star trek uniforms.

Check out her store at Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JenEricDesigns

Crocheted Cell Phone Case shaped like a tardis  Crocheted Cell phone Case that looks like a Jayne Hat

We took awesome pictures this summer at Disney world of a large stuffed Tardis she made. It’s awesome and you can follow it at: http://crochettardis.blogspot.com/

A stuffed Tardis

Please follow and like us:
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