Exactly 10 days ago I lost my phone. Let me rephrase: It was STOLEN right out from under my nose. A relatable problem, yes, but I'm absolutely not the toss-your-phone-around and forget about it kind of gal. My iPhone is my lifeline—to my never-ending work email, my straight jacket-level addiction to Instagram, and my social life. So this week and a half of hell hasn't just been a learning experience I won't soon forget, but it almost ruined my career.
I'm the social editor at Marie Claire, so my job (among a salad bowl of other things) is to keep our social media up and running. That includes answering 2am emails from my editor, posting a healthy number of Instagram photographs each day, and tweeting everything in real time. Add in the fact that it's New York Fashion Week and you can imagine how the absence of a smart phone can make things... impossible.
Friends have been cooing, "But isn't sooo nice to be sort of, you know, off the grid for a while?" The short answer is absolutely not. I love the grid. Just call me Mrs. Grid and give me a freaking phone. Below, I've detailed the 14 most utterly terrible (I digress, also most utterly #FirstWorld) dilemmas that have occured since I last saw my beloved iPhone.
1. You're going to oversleep. No one has a real-life standing alarm clocks these days. Without a phone, you can't make sure that you'll be up and ready for work on time. And you definitely can't take a power nap.
2. Just how much knowing the time affects your life. You wake up, what time is it? Are you late? When you don't have a phone, who knows. You get on the subway, or the bus, or you start walking to work. How long have you been waiting for the train? Maybe you're late. This cycle is endless and excruciating.
3. You can't Instagram any photographs. You have to appreciate good food, sunsets, and funny moments without the satisfaction of at least 20 "likes" and 3 comments.
4. You don't know where anything is located. That bar you go to all the time… where is it again? What's the cross street? You're on your own and all of a sudden the fear of having to ask a stranger and come off like someone who "isn't from around here" is very real.
5. Your boss is in a constant state of furry. Essentially, if you're offline, you're in trouble with your boss. You're going to miss an email and perhaps ruin your career. Or at least worry about ruining your career for approximately the entire day and night.
6. Meeting up with friends is more complicated than your last on-again-off-again relationship. What time do you leave? What time did they leave? Are they there yet? Where are they seated? A quick text would easily solve all your problems right now…
7. Changing plans last minute is not an option. If the bar is too crowded and your friends decide to go next door, you will never know. In fact, you'll be sitting alone in a bar mere feet away from all of your friends laughing and drinking together—though you're separated by walls and sorrow.
8. There is no access to Venmo. We've all been there. You forgot to take money out of the ATM by your apartment and the restaurant you're dining in is cash only. The invention of Venmo has solved this problem, but only for those with smartphones. You're fresh out of luck.
9. Arriving to an event early is terrible. Usually, you're thrilled when you're early. You have time to check your makeup, scroll through Instagram, and answer some outstanding emails. Now? You're stuck sitting at a table trying not to make eye contact and willing someone, anyone, you know to walk by.
10. Your bank balance is a mystery. This isn't a worry for those adult-types who don't live paycheck to paycheck. But because you have to transfer money from your savings every time you want to splurge on brunch, this is your nightmare. Will your debit card get declined? You're going to have to wait and see.
11. Your parents think you're dead. They're beside themselves — why didn't you just get a landline like they asked you to three years ago?
12. You start to think your friends hate you. Because you're inevitably in contact with them less, you start to get nervous and self-conscious that they've been trying to get rid of you all along. But then they send you an email and all is right in the world.
13. When something big breaks you're the last person on Earth to know. Staying connected to your Twitter and Instagram is the quickest way to hear about big news. And now, you have to hop on the "old news" train with the rest of the un-internet savvy crowd. (Oh, and see #5)
14. Usually during an argument, a quick Google search will settle the score. Now, you're going to just have to keep arguing. How #throwback.