10.26.2011

Your Phone & You

My mobile. My cellular device. My alarm clock. My facebook. My bank account. My newsstand. My movies. My music. My postage stamp. My hand held love--

My iPhone.

Now I don’t really care if you have the Droid, or a phone that isn’t qualified “smart.”

For most of us…your phone is your World. It’s your time machine back to whatever place you wish to travel. The number that is now titled in your contact info: DO NOT PICK UP. Yeah… we’ve all got a few of those.

That ring tone about how much you were “born this way.”

Your phone is who you are. You decide who you call just like you decide who becomes a new friend. If you lost it tonight at the bar and someone picked it up they would see a huge part of your world. They would learn how I’m a private person due to the pass-code lock. If they knew me well they would know the number and why I chose it.

They would swipe their thumb through my music selection. They would learn I love Elvis Presley and Billy Joel, but that I also, at some point, went through a phase where I made numerous playlists featuring Brand New and Paramore.

They would look through my texts, which would reveal my love for conversation and how much I value a good texting response rate in another person. If I have to wait more than an hour for a reply? I lose interest. Texting has risen to be a powerful act these days, especially in the form of love and romance. One text can change the course of a day…or a relationship. I’m not trying to be cliché or say something profound… I’m just telling you the truth. Texting my friends, has become quite the art.

There’s the text from friends where you exchange favorite movie quotes. The text from mom asking you why you never call. 
And the text from that new person, where you go ask your friends how long you should wait to respond... don’t lie…we all do that.

Texting can illustrate your intelligence, but it can always highlight one’s desperation.

The power that a text holds when it lights up your phone at 2:37am is pretty awing. Granted the person is probably drunk, despite any disclaimers that you’ll receive the next morning. Yet, in that moment, that message is your personal telegram. It’s your own dancing leprechaun holding balloons and a few kind words that are meant just for you.

Each text session is in itself a miniature story of miscommunication and smileys. And yet, I love a good text message to wake up to in the morning.

Next they’d check my address book. I’m guessing their first question would be:

“Who the hell is this Voldemort number?”

and their second:

“Who names someone Mr. Nice Jeans in their phone?”


The little black book is now the brown spiral. I have exactly 400 contacts in my address book, and anyone looking at that would probably scoff and say, “you don’t talk to all those people.”

But they wouldn’t know that I actually do.

Your contact list, through its adds and removals is a news feed of friendships and relationships. Which ones will be added to your Favorites list and which ones will you wince at while they illuminate your screen.  It’s always interesting how excited we are when putting in a new contact, and how viciously we can take them right out.

During a recent conversation with my friend Kelley, she pointed out that the end of a relationship isn’t just sitting around with the girls and talking about how wronged you were, or how you wish things could have been different.

Now, modern-day closure is the act of deleting the pictures of faded happiness on your phone.  It’s deciding whether or not you remove that person’s number, which sparks new age debate…the debate we all struggle with. Keep the number so you know it’s them when they try calling, or delete it so you avoid the excellent life choice of calling while holding a box of Franzia. Either way… it’s a toss-up. My recommendation?
Assign a notable ringtone and be done with it.

Missing someone isn’t just wishing they were still around. It has become the act of staring at their number and debating whether or not to hit “call.”

A good friend of mine past away last year and it was only a month ago that I noticed her number still in my phone. Funny how the person may be gone, but the contact can live on forever. I actually didn’t delete it either, finding it oddly comforting that a part of her, her phone number, I could still carry around with me.

I think the stranger looking through my phone would judge me for not having “Words with Friends” or “Angry Birds”… which purely on principle I refuse to buy.  They would however be impressed at how I have the NY Times, The Wallstreet Journal, and CNN.

They’d never know that I get most of my news from my People Magazine app and Twitter.

The ESPN Fantasy Football app would cause them some confusion, or maybe they’d just think I was just a super cool girl.

Note: I am not. I have it for when my boyfriend’s phone dies at the bar on Sundays and he needs to know how his teams are doing.

Right next to it they’d see my Chase app, and if they were down on their luck, perhaps try and steal my money by quick-paying themselves.

They would go through my photos, which have not been edited in terms of relevance in over a year. They’d see a bunch of pictures of jewelry, New York, Paris, and my cat. After which they’d conclude my boring existence and turn my phone into the bar tender and say, “Someone forgot this.”

The next morning I’d wake up and upon realizing its absence, fly into a fury of search and rescue. Recounting my steps from the night before I’d fine my phone, and going through it be relieved that everything is just as I left it. Like coming home from a long trip abroad, I’d feel at peace.  My world still intact, I’d go about my day, never knowing that a stranger strolled through my life last night…and him never knowing what I looked like. 

I’d go through any unanswered texts and while sipping my Starbucks read the Top 5 on my People app.

My time machine, my therapist, my shopping list, my enabler.

Your phone isn’t just your phone…it’s what you keep in the closet. It’s how you talk, what you talk about, who you talk to. It’s your facebook update, and that boy who you should’ve stopped texting four months ago. It’s your guilty pleasure song and how you still have some Disney soundtracks on your “most recently played.”

Your phone is your mobile memories and a foreshadow of perhaps what is to come.