Puedo contar los días con todos mis dedos y cuatro dedos de los pies...
What can one accomplish in two weeks? Without a smartphone?
This Friday I am leaving for Morocco, I will be there for four days. I will then spend two days in Barcelona and leave for Paris for four days. I will only have two days left in the city.
This whole trip has been a whirlwind much like this, here, there, everywhere. I feel settled only for small fleeting moments. The days without a Smartphone have been interesting, I have felt more lonely. It is interesting to watch other people on their phones, it's almost like a compulsive action, they are always present. People are still very surprised when I say I do not have a phone. To be totally honest, I miss it. I miss having a portable computer that fit in my pocket. It was a very useful tool. I have had to use more of my brain and remember the parts that I have forgotten. This is getting easier. The biggest struggle has been the loss of identity and connection I feel without a phone. I will try to explain.
To begin, I wasn't one of the first in my generation to get a smart phone. I didn't get one until I moved to Alaska when I was nineteen. It was very convenient for navigation, communication and entertainment. I know my way around Barcelona well enough to get by now but I don't think I would have been able to navigate without a Smartphone in the beginning of my journey. It has been really annoying the few times I have gotten lost recently without my Smartphone, everyone immediate reaction is: "look it up." Then, when I have explained I don't have the technology, not much help is given, no one seems to know where they are anymore. The thing I have missed most about my phone is my music. I lived on my Spotify. I like being able to choose my ambiance. I recently purchased an MP3 player to try and soothe my struggle without music, it's not the same. It felt like going back in time downloading music from Youtube. I hated every moment but, I did it.
I wish I could say that I notice more without my phone and felt connect to the space I am in but I don't. Now smartphones are tools for communication, they are used to establish connections and show people who you are. It's difficult being around my peers, Smartphones out, ignoring each other but taking breaks to show videos, swap their "stories," ect. I have nothing to show, I only have my own voice. It's even been difficult meeting new people. I recently went to a drawing class and went out for drinks with some of the artists after, they all swapped Instagrams and showed off their art. I didn't have anything to show, even though I have a public Instagram account, no one wanted to take a break from showing off their own to look at mine. Interesting to be on a different side of technology.
Not all my hope has been lost though, I did manage to make one connection from the drawing class. We exchanged Facebook information and met up for a drink a few days after. I managed to meet him without a phone, and we talked with them in a mix of Spanish and English for about two hours. It was nice to have someone look me directly in the eye.
I know that I am more than Smartphone but without it I have noticed how much identity people can convey with their phones. It is almost like a resume of who we are, the memories we have had and it helps create new memories. Without my Smartphone I have been able to observe the culture we have become and actually recognize the changes that have been made.
I miss being a part of the technological world. I wish I didn't but it's true.
Tengo dos semanas para aprender.