(It’s almost 5:00 AM and my brain won’t shut the hell up. I really need to avoid coffee in the night if I want to do that sleeping thing…)
Well, I survived my four-day ordeal.
It was tough going for a while but, with perseverance and a set of signed DVDs from the lovely people of Flashpoint, I came out of it okay. That’s right: FOUR DAYS. Four days without my cell phone. Oh, the humanity!
What was it like, living in the communications equivalent of the paleolithic era? Well, let me tell you! I missed phone calls inviting me to movies, requesting business meets, begging for gossip, and even a call from my mom. My mother is getting on in years and I take her calls no matter what, even if it is to say I can’t talk. So missing a call from my mom is a distinctive folly in my world. Good thing she sent me an email.
Oh. Em. Gee.
What if I’d been without my cellphone AND the internet?! Is it even humanly possible to survive that for FOUR DAYS?! How did people live without the two? Did they have wires in their houses for electrical communication? Barbaric! Maybe there was some community-use manner of long-distance conversation. I wonder if they had to pay money at these things?
And the news! How would one get any news? On paper? By carrier pigeon? Some dude in a goofy had standing in the town square, yelling out accounts of events that were weeks old? Oh, thank the Winklevosses, I didn’t have to endure such an interminable pox as no internet. What if I’d had a question or needed to find some fact. There’s no Wikipedia on my bookshelf (just DVDs and and these collections of pages which are like boxed-sets for words).
Anyway, through I strict regimen of exercise (I typed on an unplugged keyboard so my texting muscles wouldn’t atrophy), healthy eating (no saturated fats or burritos), prayer (“Dear Lord of Roaming…”), and meditation (the Orthodox Tai-Chi Method of Wall Staring) I managed to remain calm and endure the Great Telephony Drought of 2011. There were a few dark moments when I almost considered the calamity of the ordeal as some portent of the impending Mayan Apocalypse of 2012.
Thankfully I remembered that the Mayans already had an apocalypse and weren’t around to have another. See? Wikipedia to the rescue. Thank you, Al Gore. Look, I still have some trauma and it makes me meme-ish.
Anyway, this is the final step in avoiding any PTCAD (Post Traumatic Cellphone Absence Disorder) — excising the events by writing them down and remembering the struggles and triumphs of that time.
And by helping others.
I have compiled additional tips on avoiding any long-term damage to your psyche and sense of self-worth. If you are ever without your cellphone for an extended duration (like longer than when you turn it off during the movies) (which you should do if you don’t want to be a total peckerhead) don’t panic! Stick to the following instructions:
- Keep your wits about you
- Stay away from any viewings of 127 Hours
- Don’t listen to Coldplay, Lionel Richie, or Enya
- Write little notes on slips of paper and put them beside your bed so that, if you wake from night terrors, you can pretend you’ve got text messages
- Try and seek real human contact, like on Skype or Twitter
- Use a proxy item like a bar of soap or a carved potato to put in your pocket when you go out — in order to quell that empty feeling when you leave the house
- NB: don’t plug your Bluetooth or headphones in to the soap/spud
- In the middle of face-to-face conversations with actual people, abruptly halt the conversation in mid-sentence, tell them you have a bad signal, then apologize and walk away
- If you have a friend with a cellphone, or have (and know how to use) a so-called “land line” antique, call your cellphone and leave a funny voicemail
- When your friend isn’t looking, steal and hide their cellphone so you can use the shared experience to bond and build something called “a relationship”
- If you are without a phone for more than five days, consult your doctor
- Finally, carry a pen with you, in case you need to remember something difficult … like a phone number
Hopefully, this post will help some people avoid any PTCAD.