Surgically Attached

Surgically Attached

Once, in a comment on an old blog post, I joked that the phone used to be surgically attached to my sister’s ear. At the time, I was referring to a phone attached to a land line, the kind of phone that had a cord and physical buttons, back when that was the norm.

I was exaggerating, obviously; it was the sort of phone you left at home when you went to school or work, so she couldn’t possibly have had it on her at all times the way people have their phones with them all day and night these days. Today, people have their phone with them even just going to the toilet, as a much more engaging thing to read than a magazine or a newspaper.

Me, I use it for GPS navigation when I drive, e-mail when I’m away from the computer, an encyclopedia when I want an answer to a question, et cetera, et cetera. Not to mention, I use it to make phone calls and text messages.

But I also take it with me on hikes, so I can track my routes and log my miles, and so I can take a photo or two for posting onto Instagram or Facebook.

Amazing how accustomed we get to such dependent phone habits and how naked we feel when forget our phones at home…

…as I forgot mine today.

So I went on a seven-mile hike doing North and South Fortuna Mountains, and I didn’t get to log it. It was also cold, frost so heavy on the ground, bushes, and fences that it looked like a winter wonderland perfect for the holiday season. Yet I couldn’t take any photos of any of it. I also missed a couple of calls and a text message, plus random news and game notifications. And I was gone for only four hours, from 6:30am to 10:30am.

Also, though it felt freeing not to have to worry about starting and ending my hiking app, I worried about being extra special careful on the hike. After all, I didn’t want to hurt myself as I wouldn’t be able to call 911 or my family in the case of an emergency.

That’s when I realized, ugh, for better or for worse, I’ve come to depend far too much on my phone. We’ve all become practically surgically attached to our phones.

And that’s just sad.

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