21st Century Separation Anxiety

Clocking in at a little over a week since The Incident, this is the longest I have been without a cellphone since the eighth grade.* How does it feel? Well, like most bad break-ups, it's complicated. But before I get to the emotional stuff, here are a few everyday, practical issues that being phone-less renders excruciatingly difficult.

Knowing what time it is. My first night without my phone I fell asleep worrying how I could possibly wake up on time, seeing as I haven't owned an alarm clock since before Obama became the first black president. Footnote 1 below mostly solves this problem.

Knowing where I am. While she has many admirable qualities, I inherited my mother's unfortunate sense of direction, which basically means that without a GPS documenting my every move, maps are completely meaningless to me. Leaving my apartment is now generally prefaced by a 5-10 minute ritual in which I peruse Google Maps and try to commit it to memory.

Communicating. The most obvious problem is also the most poignant. Gone are all my contacts, so even if I had a functioning phone I would be almost as helpless as I am now. 

In a more metaphysical sense, though, it's like the theft abruptly severed my ties with home. There was always some comfort in knowing that despite the miles and time zones between us, my friends and family were always a Whatsapp/Facebook/Tweet/Email away. And now... I guess you could say that I feel pretty lost, both literally and figuratively, but at least I still have my laptop and internet access; I mean, losing that connection really pushes people over the edge if you know what I mean.

*OK, truth be told I can be found toting around this relic of mobile technology from my first month in Paris when I naively believed that I could get by with a pay-as-you-go plan. However, since those credits have long been squandered, it's utility has been reduced to that of a pocket watch.