A couple of months ago I signed up to a phone plan with a gorgeous new phone free of charge. It’s the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I absolutely adore it. It’s a lot bigger than my old Ideos, a big awkward for fitting into your jeans pocket, and the larger screen drains the battery super fast. However, it’s so fast! So much easier to read email or write blog posts on, and can run all the apps my other phone choked on.
I now run four separate Google tasks widgets on my main screen, moving tasks between the lists as I wish. I am notified whenever library books are due etc. I also have a calendar widget as I use the Google calendar for my diary. I write poems on evernote when they come to me,
Early in the cold
I drag my bag of chittering, vexous, aching bones
Down to the sculpture studio
Like a leper to a sanctuary.
… write blog posts on the bus or in bed. I’ve just downloaded a few grocery shopping apps to test because I’m often ducking into the shops on the way home from work and I never have my list on me. Plus I’m an anxious shopper – I buy food for a three month siege when I’m feeling stressed, so being able to add the talley of my cart will be helpful in prevent those nasty surprises at the checkout.
The navigation app gets an extensive workout, as does Google maps. I can use public transport now I don’t have to read the timetables!
I have a very strong memory of my first night in a women’s shelter. I’m alone in the dark, locked in a strange room, lying on a plastic wrapped mattress, and I am terrified. I curl up on my side and talk to myself soothingly, clutching my mobile phone in both hands. It was my only lifeline back out to the rest of the world. Being in an environment like that: bars on my window, no escape route, no control, was a nightmare for someone with PTSD. I slept all night holding my phone.
My phone still means a lot to me. It is my access point to information, my voice to cry for help, my way to stay connected with far flung friends. It is a string I hold as I walk into the labyrinth, with it I risk things I would not otherwise have courage for. I take buses, walk at night, try new routes. It is my memory, reminding me I need cat food or the car oil needs checking. It is my way of recording so many special moments, documenting the mundane but incredibly precious moments of my life, Zoe chasing her toy, the blossoming trees in the street, a meal I’m proud to have cooked. It’s spoken as a given truth that technology divides us, distracts us, disconnects us. I love technology like my phone because for me it does the opposite. It frees me, connects me, empowers me. I remember the days of driving at night before mobiles, afraid of breaking down. I remember how hard you once had to work to find information. I remember what living with severe memory dissociation felt like before email reminders and phone ‘to do’ lists. I am very old fashioned in some ways, but tech like this I just adore.