Musings From A Man Without His Phone
I don’t think many people name their smartphones but I do. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and its name is Jarvis. A week before my much awaited trip to Italy, my Smartphone, aka Jarvis, started acting dumb. It would restart for no evident reasons and would freeze on many occasions. Now Jarvis is not as smart as its brother Jarvis who currently helps Ironman so I couldn’t ask why it was acting dumb. So I started thinking and realized that the main cause might have been the latest Android Marshmallow update. Jarvis is no kid so I didn’t bother to control its marshmallow consumption but I should have. Due to my negligence, the doctors told me it was high on sugar and that it might have other serious issues. Two days before the trip, Jarvis went into coma. I will only know if it will survive or not after taking it to T-Mobile customer service in America but here in France, it has to remain in coma. I had conflicting thoughts about buying a new phone since that would mean giving up on Jarvis and I don’t give up on my good friends. On the other hand, if I don’t buy one, I might not be able to survive because I was born in the age of Internet. I did some research on smartphones and got trapped in the Paradox of choice. There were so many options that I ended up choosing none. Few hours before the trip, I sat beside Jarvis and told it to take it easy and that I haven’t given up.
I was on the road now and I was feeling excited because I would see Italy for the first time. After talking for few hours, my cousins and I got tired and they put on their headphones to relax. Unfortunately, since Jarvis was in a vegetative state, I couldn’t use it to listen to music. Back when Jarvis was healthy, we would listen to all kinds of Music, except rap, and be happy. However, with him in a coma, the silence was deafening, and served as a constant reminder of my fallen soldier. I tried listening to my cousin brothers’ playlist but our music tastes were different. They were listening to Dr.Dre and other rappers. I don’t know where Dr.Dre got his doctorate degree or what kind of illness he treats but he was definitely not my doctor. Rap is cool and occasionally I spit fire like Eminem, but I can’t listen to it on the road. After few minutes of silence, I took a book from my bag and started reading it. I am usually not a big reader, but this time, the literary relief provided an escape from the dulling atmosphere in the car ride. I finished the book and gained some valuable knowledge, which is always a plus! Weeks passed by with us visiting all the cool places from Milan to Pisa to Siena to Gran Sasso to Rome to Florence to Sicily. I re-experienced the beauty of travelling and seeing new places. The times when we were not busy experiencing the aesthetic pleasures of Italy, I would either dive into the real world, spending time with my family and making wonderful memories, or explore the enlightening world of books. I didn’t have Jarvis so I couldn’t dive into the distracting digital world, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I started appreciating the real nature and also experienced the beauty of silence. Silence has long been shattered in this fast paced world and the constant notifications from our smartphones or other digital devices make sure that silence is really broken.
Now, I am not saying smartphones are bad. I love my Jarvis and I am going to fix him. However, after fixing him, I won’t be spending as much time with him as I use to. I will instead spend more time with real people in the real world. The digital world is very distractive and communication behind screens is no fun compared to real communications over a good coffee or a nice walk. In the end, I realized that my good friend Jarvis had taken too much marshmallow and shut its eyes so that I could open mine and enjoy the real world. Thank you Jarvis; you woke me up from the digital world and now I am going to take you to America and wake you up from coma. See you soon buddy!