This is me. Laura Robustella, a regular twenty-four-year old student, who’s phone always seems to be attached to her right (or sometimes left) hand. This image sums up the relationship between me and my iPhone… to some extent.
Did I receive an important university-related e-mail? Did my weather alarm just tell me it’s about to rain? Did one of my friends tag me in a funny meme on Facebook? Did my astrology send me the ‘right’ message? Is it an exciting incoming FaceTime call? Is it someone cute sliding into my Instagram DM’s? To answer these questions: all these assumptions could be true. However, if I am truly honest, I could stare like this at my phone even without receiving any notification.
Me and my iPhone have a complex relationship. I love and hate my phone at the same time. I love its functionality, I hate its social side-effects. To get more insight into this relationship, I will describe an ordinary day in ‘our’ life.
It’s 8 o’clock in the morning. I wake up to the calm piano sounds of my iPhone alarm. Even though the sound of my alarm is quite comforting, I roll over to grab my phone and turn of the alarm immediately. So far, my phone has been useful since it woke me up. Then the misery starts: checking missed notifications. One missed Snapchat video of my friend’s cat. Cute, but now I miss my parent’s cat (that has his own Instagram-account). Some likes on my Instagram account. Nice, but has my crush seen my post yet? A Facebook notification telling me about ‘events’ my ‘friends’ are going to attend. Do I want to go as well? Do I need to make a Whatsapp-group for the event? I realize I need to get ready, so I put my phone aside, for a bit. Before I leave, I grab my phone again and select a nice song whilst I walk to the gym.
At the gym I find myself in some weird pilates positions. My phone is in a locker. Even though I feel physically uncomfortable during the exercises, I feel my mind relaxing. By the time the class is finished, I feel super ‘zen’ (I guess). I grab my stuff from my locker and find myself unconsciously but immediately searching for my phone. My astrology app has sent me the following notification: ‘Teach someone something today.’ Usually I think it’s fun to receive those notifications, however this one stays on my mind whilst I walk to the supermarket. I never take this app too seriously, but I keep wondering what could I even teach someone? These deep thoughts slip away as I enter the store and grab my phone again. I search for the Albert Heijn app and look at the list I have created. I often forget necessary stuff whilst shopping, so having a digital list is extremely handy.
By the time I get home, I need to charge my phone as I have not charged it the night before. I put my phone aside and grab my laptop. Time to catch up on some readings, check some fun Vice articles and watch an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. I do not miss my phone as I receive the same notifications on my laptop. I check my Facebook messages and realize today’s class at three o’clock is cancelled. Great! I feel like giving myself a new look for the winter and start digging into Pinterest and Instagram. Two hours later I need to switch devices, as I put my laptop in my bag and grab my phone to play music whilst cycling to the university.
During the five o’clock lecture I make notes on my laptop, but I cannot seem to help myself from looking at Instagram images. I find it very hard to focus on the new information and my favourite distraction (my phone obviously) is close. Too close. I put my phone in my pocket, but I am still having a hard time on focussing on the lecture. After a few minutes, I start to catch up on my university mails until the lecture is finished.
Once I get home, I prepare dinner and Facetime-call my mom to thank her for the leftovers I warmed up for dinner. After I am done eating and have finished cleaning the dishes, I install myself on the couch with my laptop, a cosy blanket and (ofcourse) my phone. After some episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, I decide it’s time to go to bed. When I am ready for bed, I grab my phone to use it as a flashlight. I really need to fix my light, but I somehow always end up forgetting this. Well, then I will use my phone to see where I am walking.
I crawl into my bed, go through my social media, apply to a gym class for the following day, set my alarm and switch my phone to night modus. Unfortunately, I have not taught anything to anyone, but hey, maybe I will with my upcoming blogposts? Let’s find out together.