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Elizabeth Krupka Headshot

Always On... Always Good?

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I miss my alarm, brush my teeth, throw on my outfit, grab the trash and bolt out the door. When I put my keys in the ignition, I'm running through the quick mental checklist of my daily survivals hoping that I have everything. With The Black Keys rocking, I roll into the parking lot at work, rifle through my purse and look for my key fab and phone.

Fuck.

That beautiful white piece of technology must still be sitting on my nightstand since I flew out of my apartment like someone told me glazed munchkins were sitting at my doorstep (go ahead and judge me, but nothing beats those little artery cloggers).

I suddenly felt very naked and uneasy.


Immediately I think about the people who I usually talk to throughout the day (pretty much just my parents) and how I should explain that I don't have my phone. Which is a pretty asinine statement because; well you obviously can't really text without having your phone.

For the first few of the hours of the day I'll admit it felt really funny not to have that little white pal on my desk. However the first wave of liberation hit me while I was sitting at lunch with some co-workers and for once I have nothing vibrating, ringing or lighting up next to me.

It's just my buffalo chicken salad, daily dose of aspartame and I have to say it feels (and tastes) pretty damn good. After finishing lunch I arrived back into the office, hastily answer some of the emails that I missed while out on lunch and I am back on track for the rest of the afternoon.

I leave the office and head right to the gym, when the feeling of nakedness envelops me once again. I won't be able to listen to the new music I downloaded when I'm running.

Ugh.

Stepping on the treadmill, I turn on the dreaded five o clock news and decide I'll have to settle for that during my workout. (Quick sidenote: if you actually work out to the five o clock news and don't feel like drowning yourself in a vat of s'mores afterward good for you, because that hour of news makes me depressed.) I jack up the level and hit the... well belt or whatever treadmills are.

Once I hit my stride I realized that it's not so horrible without my music (except for the awful noise that my treadmill neighbor was making it was panting, I hope)... it's actually quite peaceful and that feeling of liberation that I had at lunch came flooding back.

Now when I actually did return back to my phone, I had several angry messages about being ignored. It was then that I realized how negative the immediacy of technology is at times. I was alive, well and in the right frame of mind. I simply just didn't have my phone and several people jumped to horrible conclusions simply because I didn't answer within a certain time frame.

Aside from work (which is the only place that there really should be a need for constant communication) there shouldn't always be a need to answer right away. However I fall into the same trap that most people do, and assume the worst when there is no ellipse on that iMessage right away.

Often times when someone does text, email or call you almost feel obligated to answer. Which is a shame, the need for the quick reply takes a lot of the joy out of the conversation itself, in most cases.

It's almost hilarious to hear justifications about technology anxiety. "He didn't answer my snapchat back in under 5 minutes, he must hate me." "Can you believe it took her a whole hour and two minutes to answer back." "You haven't liked that picture I posted yet?"

Vomit.

Disconnectivity (from technology) anxiety is an actual disorder now. Reread that before you go on please. People actually have anxiety over unanswered texts messages or a few hours away from a little piece of plastic.

I don't have anxiety when separated from my credit card (also plastic) why should my phone be any different? Both are merely just objects. When I think about the feeling that I initially had about being nervous to be separated from my phone it made me want to leave it off, permanently.

I guess my question is do you ever get tired of being constantly available? I sure do.

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