The other day I was sitting on an international flight to South America on business. It was a long flight and a hard day. I was on an airline I
rarely fly on, and a couple hours into the flight I decided to take a look at their in-flight magazine out of boredom. As I opened up the seat-back
pocket in front of me I noticed someone had left their phone behind on a previous flight, and the aircraft cleaners must have missed it when they
prepped the flight. "Well, that sucks!
", I thought to myself. The next time a flight attendant came by I gave the phone to her explaining how
I'd found it, she said she'd take care of it, and my long boring flight continued on through the night. Life went on.
Fast forward to last night. I hadn't been feeling well the past couple days and had taken some cold medication (i.e. the stuff crazy dreams are made
of). At some point I started dreaming. In my dream, I had just landed on a flight from somewhere. Getting off the flight was particularly
aggravating for some reason and I was angry. Someone was picking me up at the airport, I was already late and everything was taking forever.
Finally off the plane, luggage collected, I reached for my back pocket and realized my phone wasn't there! Contrary to what you might expect, I
wasn't particularly panicked. You see, I pretty much hate cell / smart phones and have tried to resist becoming dependent on them. I'd be just fine,
I thought (in my dream). I'd just go get another one in the next day or two when the opportunity presented itself.
Over the next hour or so, my dream turned into a nightmare. My ride, the one who was supposed to pick me up, was nowhere to be found. They'd
probably given up on me and, not having heard from me, had probably gone home. Okay, I'll just call them. Well...
I'll just hit the highlights of what happened next in my nightmare because it's just maddening beyond description:
1. Call my ride? How? No biggie, I'll just use a payphone...
2. Payphone where? There aren't hardly any payphones anymore. I'd find one eventually...
3. Finally, a payphone. What's the number? ....
4. Dammit, the number to my ride is on my phone.
5. Just get an Uber, people said. Well, that's pretty difficult without a phone. No, it's not just difficult, it's impossible.
6. Just get a taxi then. Ah, okay, the good ol' taxi. "Take me to my hotel, James
", and away we went.
7. The hotel is full they said, but I have a reservation with a confirmation. What's the number? Sigh, it's on my phone!
8. Okay, I'll get the confirmation using my laptop. At least I had that! No Wifi. It's only for guests, they said, and I wasn't a guest (yet), but
there's a starbucks down the street about a half mile. Really????
9. Fast forward; they overbooked the hotel and there's a snowstorm, flights cancelled all over the place. I have to get another hotel. But I've got
work colleagues picking me up in the morning at my original hotel. I need to let them know (and it's 10pm). Where's their number...why on my phone,
10. Okay, I'll do it the hard way. Can I use your phone? Sorry, Sir, the phones are only for guests. Payphone?? No, so sorry, Sir.
Uggghhhh!! This story, this nightmare, went on for a while. I won't bore you with it, but trust it is much more of the same. I eventually got so
frustrated and thoroughly pissed off in my dream I just woke up...mad.
Sitting right next to the bed on the stand was my smart phone, trustingly blinking away. I immediately grabbed it off the nightstand and turned it on
to see what time it was. It was 4am. I sat there on the edge of the bed, phone in hand, and thought to myself...
Dammit, I have become completely dependent on this stupid thing, this phone. This stupid little piece of technology OWNS me! Not the other way
around as it should be. I've long said if someone wanted to create complete chaos, just shut cellular phones off for a few days. I'm more convinced
now than ever, such an event would have people rioting in the streets in less than 72 hours.
What started as an electronic "leash" with the pagers of old, the early cellular phones in a bag, has now become our Master. It owns us, we don't own
And I write this as I use a wooden pencil to write down important numbers in a little paper notebook, as I write down important passwords on a scrap
of paper to put in my wallet.
Never again...until next time.
We have sold our souls to the Demons of Technology. And, like a highly addictive drug, it is Pure Evil.
Is there an app for that?
ETA - I wonder if that person ever got their phone back? Frankly, I'd say it's highly unlikely given we were headed for one of the lesser developed
countries in South America. Poor sap. I actually feel for them.
edit on 2/18/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)