It has been over 6 weeks since my Iphone hit the street in an attempt to swing my purse over my head while running to the car not to be late at the creche. It hit the soil and broke in a million pieces, showing all the mechanics inside. Dead. At about the same time the adapter of my macbook stopped feeding, without any particular reason, but dead as well. We brought no television, ipad or other computers, and since we live in the (also) dead end of France, it can take a while for stuff to arrive (or to find another apple user). Whenever they say; “at your door before 11.00 AM tomorrow’, I know it’s going to take at least one week, up to two weeks internationally. But hey, you want to live remote or you want to live remote.
With T. traveling abroad and taking his devices with him, I was now left with no screen to an outside world other than my actual window to village life. And realized it has been a very long time since I’ve lived like this. Probably around 2000, before the laptops, before the smartphone’s, before the tablets and before I had money to buy a television. First it left me a bit disorientated, nervously looking for something to check, a movie to watch at night, something new, something to feed me, something outside of myself. Each time realizing I had to take the phonebook to look up the hairdresser, take the landline to actually call my mother instead of skype her and not be able to look up any recipe from my favorite blog.
After the first panic of not being able to work on my laptop, I started to wonder why I couldn’t work with pen and paper anymore? I took out my notebook and just started writing all the things I would be typing. Worked fine. I started buying newspapers and actually read them from A-Z instead of scanning them. Read a few more books then I would normally do at night and got really into making puzzles with the kids before dinner. I started to experience what I think they call peace of mind. Relaxing with the idea that there is not an invisbile, extern world that is constantly draws away your attention out of the present.
It took ten days for my adapter to arrive and work again on the computer (I must admit I waited for the postman every day, until he wouldd start to shake his head when he saw me standing in the street. No, again nothing… (I don’t know if he shook out of pity or out of sympathy). When back online it was nice to have a connection to friends, news, music, etc., less nice to have to reproduce all my notes into Word and even less nice to see how within the day, my attention was shattered again like confetti between ‘the real world’ and the ‘digital world’. Screaming impatiently at my roommates if they would interrupt me or ignoring them all together.
I decided I need some digital hygiene. Having my digital life pouring all over my actual life is like poison on the atmosphere, my work and my mood. So the laptop has to stay on the bookshelf. No more lying around in the kitchen, telling the kids to take their juice somewhere else. No more checking emails while dinner is set, or trying to finish a blog post and trying to talk to a passing neighbour at the same time. Not hitting my email receive button the whole time and not taking out my laptop if am not actually going to work on it (but browse the whole Zara website again without ever buying for example).
So when my new Iphone arrived after three weeks I wasn’t even exited and I gave up waiting for the mailman a long time ago. I just left it lying on the kitchen table thinking I would install it later. From there it moved slowly between the pasta and the rice in the storage room and is collecting some serious dust ever since. It surprises me as much at it amuses me that I show clearly no interest in my phone anymore.