On January 1st, my phone had a little meltdown. While Derek and I were working on our new hobby, the New York Times Crossword puzzle, it proceeded to restart itself 15 times. I managed to turn it off, but that was just the beginning of its fit. I’m pretty good at troubleshooting most things, and I started with the easiest steps and worked my way up to a full wipe of the phone and a reinstall of the OS and a back up I had managed to get before it flipped out.
But it didn’t really help much and seemed to have difficulty sorting out its <waves hands> business to even properly erase itself. I chatted with Apple online and was then upgraded to a phone call with a tech who gave me his email address in case I had questions in the mean time (I like to think this was because my particular issue is so weird they are giving it some kind of priority, but this must be just what they do when phone doesn’t respond to a factory reset.) and now it’s destined for the Genius Bar on Tuesday. I wiped it again, didn’t bother to install the backup and it is still rebooting itself. I am now convinced they are going to tell me to buy a new phone because this is starting to seem very much like a hardware issue.
Having to buy a new phone is dumb and expensive, but I don’t really care that much. And I think it partially has to do with me being relieved that I am not looking at the stupid thing all the time. I was stuck in my own little restart loop where if my mind wandered and felt a little bored or under stimulated for even a minute I would reach for the phone and check Twitter or Instagram to numb it up again. It wasn’t especially satisfying and I wanted to stop looking at it so much, but I also wasn’t making much of an effort to stop the cycle of looking at it.
Until now. Because now it is just busted. Sitting next to me on my desk. When I reflexively reach for it, it’s blank. Turned off. I’m hoping that this will slowly train me to lose the dependency. I still have a computer and that allows me to receive text messages, and I can make phone calls and do most of the stuff I did with the phone. But last night when I was bored with what was on television, I reached for a set of markers and a coloring book and filled in little shapes with bright colors. It was numbing in its own way, but didn’t result in any outrage (well, almost no outrage, the colors indicated on the caps of my markers to not represent the colors that wind up on the page, and I find that irritating.) over the news of the day.
I miss the camera because it’s convenient, but I have a lovely SLR camera that I don’t use nearly enough and it takes far superior photos. Maybe this break from the rectangle computer will be the nudge I need to hone my photography skills a bit. The photo at the top of this post is from my camera and I used it like I would use the phone camera, a quick composition with little or no adjustments for light and I think it turned out ok.
January 1st gave me a taste of what life can be like if I stop relying on my phone to occupy my brain, and I keep thinking, maybe the little phone is looking out for me. Maybe it knows I don’t want to be looking at it so much and it decided to sacrifice itself for my mental health. I’m also pretty convinced Apple is nefariously sending out crap code to not only throttle old phones but render them useless in order to boost sales on the 8 and the X. I resolve to do a lot of things this year, but I will not let go of this particular conspiracy theory. Yet.