It was scary. I stared at the dark glass and chrome sided rectangle with a mixture of sadness, despair, and potential freedom. It no longer had network signal. I could not incessantly check my email, twitter and facebook, and occasionally (more like addictively) play a game of Tiny Wings, Fruit Ninja or Words With Friends. What had I done? My life of technological freedom was all of a sudden no more with a few clicks by an ATT representative.
Already, my life feels different. Last night, I was at a social gathering, and I realized how much I relied on my phone to carry me through the awkwardness of social interaction. It wasn’t that the gathering itself was awkward or anything (in fact, I hurt my stomach from laughing too hard). It was those social pauses between jokes, it was those places of idleness. So often my phone was used as a way of leaning away from that place of silence and idleness… But I was now forced to lean in to those situations and found myself extremely inept at being in those places… I actually had to start conversations.
I took the long walk back to my car thinking about how uncomfortable I felt without an escape from the idleness, and I realized I didn’t know what to do with myself as I walked home. Again, there was nothing to check, no electronic glow to accompany my solo walk.
And then I noticed the trees rustling in the wind, something I had not taken note of for a while.
Perhaps the silence is not something to escape.