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“me and my mobile? ….we’re on a break”

A word about alarms.

And waking up.

If you know you don’t have the snooze option, you won’t go back to sleep. Who knew?? It’s a miracle!! How did I not know forget about this?

So….in the last couple of weeks I’ve really and truly found (and this is quite spectacular for someone who has struggled to get out of bed for I don’t know how many years) that when my AA battery powered (old school) alarm goes off, I’ve woken up gently but …purposefully. I’ve turned over, stretched, blinked a few times and given the morning a chance to soak into my eyes. And even better, my thoughts have had a chance to float to the surface before I start my day.

Normally you see (and it’s a habit I got into without even realising it was happening) looking at my mobile is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. Probably partially a symptom of being single but, even so, it occurred to me that doing that is maybe kind of like getting one of those little mini-mops you use in the kitchen sink, dousing it in honey to attract the wasps and then putting the whole sticky angry mess in the top of your brain to go hit-the-sides-crazy for a while, before resigning themselves to a quiet dissatisfied hummm.

I was thinking about why my phone has ended up as my alarm and I think it’s just to do with the one-stop-shop-answer-to-everything story we’ve been brain-washed with. I mean, ultimately, we’re quite lazy us human beans, so it suits us that we can do everything from learning Chinese to campaigning against terror on one little hand held gizmo. I even drove past a billboard poster this morning for Sky that said something like “Take your viewing with you” (think I’ll leave that, cheers). When you stop and think about it, it’s all just a bit …too much.

One of my old bosses thought it was hilarious that I, when I worked in London, I had a little A-Z map. Just in case. You see, I’ve always said that ” as long as I have a map, I’ll be fine”. It’s the most important thing to pick up whenever you travel to a new place and can tell you a million extra things you wouldn’t have expected it to. Not least, the most direct route from A to B, just by spending two minutes looking and engaging your brain to find what’s (not guaranteed but probably) the best route.

I used to drive to Fulham Broadway from Worcester pretty much every other weekend 10 years ago. I always used my maps then despite it being pretty much Central London, because I figured that as long as I knew where I was going and where I was in the context of everywhere else, then I’d never get lost. And if you really end up not knowing where you are, you can always just stop at a garage or a post office and ask someone. I’m kind of sad that fewer people ask or need or provide directions these days. Just a chance meeting with someone and an interaction that might touch your life or theirs in ways the other may never know (okay so I’m a romantic but you catch my drift).

However, I’ve now been seduced by GoogleMaps and specifically estimated journey times: I can’t remember the last time I got my map book out. Although I vaguely remember stretching to get it from the passenger side door, when getting stuck in traffic on the way to my Mum’s on the A1(M)and navigating myself around a little detour on the A47 around Leicester. But generally speaking, these days I would struggle to tell you where I was on a journey if I broke down (except I did download the nifty app from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance the other day that gives you your exact coordinates… so long as you have a/ enough battery and b/ a signal. And you know sods law. I’m just saying).

I now reply on my phone for everything: navigating from here to there; ‘Notes’ for everything I want to do, watch, buy, see and remember in the future; timing my poached eggs; music casting from iTunes direct to my TV; charting (another nifty little app) when my next period is due (won’t share that for the quesy easily scared boys amongst us); and (this one is special, and ludicrous) checking what date it is today (weirdly I seem to know at the moment….)

It’s my cook book, my shopping portal and my newspaper. It’s my address book (more on this later), my social life planner and my encyclopedia of never-ending knowledge. If I could file my nails with my mobile I would.

But it occurred to me as I drove to work this morning, that when you rely on one thing (or let’s call it “being”, because with Siri in the mix, it almost is) for everything.….it’s bound to be an unhealthy relationship.

So I guess me and my iPhone 5s are “on a break”.

It’s a bit like splitting up with a long term partner, who was always telling you how much you needed them. There’s a surprising lightness when free of their burdens.

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