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I just lost my phone/mind
They've already implanted a figurative chip in my brain
I went off social media on Sunday night. It’s been 4 days. And it’s been easy.
The reason it’s been easy, is because I haven’t had the time or energy to care. First I was super busy on Monday, but in the days since, I’ve been so tired. So tired that I haven’t even had the energy to care about anything. I’ve actually been tired for almost 2 weeks.
After the first few days of being tired, I got my period, and thought oh, that explains that. But then the tiredness stayed. And it’s still staying.
Actually, today I feel a little bit more normal, so maybe I’m on the up and up. Or maybe I’m not. I can’t be sure.
Maybe this is finally covid. Or maybe I’m horribly depleted in something. Or maybe it’s the reaction to the extreme stress I let myself get into with the mold/leaks/tick saga. Or maybe I’m just weeks away from some sort of serious diagnosis.
I’m not very anxious about the tiredness, I’m actually too tried to be anxious, though of course, part of me is wondering what is going on…
Either way, I’m tired and don’t have a lot of brain power, or physical power. Like, even my fingers are too tired to text and too tired to write. So, I haven’t cared at all about social media, which has made it an easy transition in some ways.
I mean, my thumb DID keep going to the place where instagram used to be, on autopilot, every ten minutes for the first few days. And I downloaded a Bible app and put it in it’s place. In the very least, it was to troll myself when I kept unconsciously stumbling into a Bible app. In the most, it was my reminder to myself: Girl, you’re lost. You need God. Or something. And then when I found myself staring blankly at John 1:1, multiple times a day, not even knowing how the app opened, I got to see how addicted and compulsive I was with opening the instagram app.
And I’m not even doing that anymore, that only took two days to get out of my system.
Still, it’s been hard to know how I’d really be using this time off of instagram, because I’ve just been so tired.
But as I said, today was a little better, and so I tried to write my piece about ‘My Thoughts on The F*ck It Diet Now,’ which won the poll from the other day, and I got halfway through, and then started to lose steam again.
So I went up and took a shower, and then started folding some clothes (that’s one of the few manageable things on my today’s tired to do list: write substack, return light bulbs, take molly to the woods, fold clothes while listening to a podcast.)
In the middle of folding, I ran downstairs to give a check to Maria, my sort-of “cleaning lady,” before she left. I really hesitate to use the term cleaning lady to refer to Maria, because she is so much closer to me than that label implies. I have known her for 26 years, since my little sister was born. She used to babysit us, and even lived with us for a time, and we have become really close to her and her family. So close that she is coming to my brother’s wedding next week, and her son is a groomsman. Actually, after I gave her the check, we were talking about whether she would be coming back next week, and I said, “well, it’s Shane’s rehearsal dinner that night down at the shore — aren’t you coming?” I’d seen on the evite guest list that she was invited to the rehearsal dinner. We couldn’t remember what time the rehearsal dinner started, so I ran upstairs, grabbed my phone from the bed, and ran back down to show her the invitation. 7:15 pm. I talked to her for another ten minutes or so, and when she left, I went back upstairs again.
I was going to start folding laundry again, but I realized I should let my dog Molly out — it’d been hours. So I said “ok let’s go downstairs and go potty,” and as we were walking down I thought, You know what? Let me go back up and get my phone (why? I don’t know). So I ran back upstairs, and the phone wasn’t on my bed where I’d thought it would be. Huh. I ran downstairs to look around where I had been talking to Maria, and showing her the evite on my phone. Nowhere.
Where is it? I retraced all of my steps multiple times. Is it in the bathroom? I haven’t even been in the bathroom. Where else have I been in the past 15 minutes?? Nowhere!!!
It wasn’t upstairs. I checked everywhere I had just been… it was nowhere. Ugh. I had to PING myself with my computer.
So I opened my computer, and I went to the “Find My” app, and searched for my phone. I was trying to see if it was in my house, or if maybe I accidentally handed it to Maria at some point, or she picked it up on her way out thinking it was her iPhone.
NOOO. My location was off.
I turn off my location all the time these days, because I listened to a podcast episode about cell radio frequencies, and they said to turn our phone on airplane mode at night, so we aren’t radiating our heads all night. BUT, ‘location services’ is actually it’s OWN frequency, so you have to turn that off too, separately. So, I end up turning it off at night before bed, and forgetting to turn it back on during the day.
And here we are. Lost phone.
(I actually just I realized that I could have pinged my phone anyway, and made the dinging sound play, even with the location off. That would have saved me about 10-15 more minutes of madness.)
I texted Maria from my computer. It seemed unlikely that I’d handed it her, considering how attached I am to my phone. Clearly it is like a phantom limb. But… I could not figure out where my phone was otherwise, and that was the last time I had it. It wasn’t up by the laundry on my bed. It wasn’t IN the laundry, I’d checked three times now. It wasn’t down by where I was using the phone right before she left…
She didn’t have it — and she reminded me that I had it when I was showing her the invitation on my phone. I knowwwww.
She said she would call me.
It doesn’t matter. My phone is always on silent.
My phone was on silent. My phone had it’s location turned off. And… it had vanished into thin air.
And… I was too frazzled to know that I could have pinged myself anyway.
The whole time I kept searching, I kept thinking to myself that maybe she would find it in her back pocket when she got home. Would she bring it back to me? Would I drive out to her?
I also thought to myself… it doesn’t really matter if I don’t have it. I don’t actually need it right now. I can just… keep folding laundry without it.
But no. I couldn’t relax.
Noooooo I need to listen to my podcast about how the metaverse and AI are going to become “The Matrix” that everyone is flippantly says we are already living in!
My desperation to have my phone, to listen to the rest of a podcast episode about how tech and AI are taking over our lives… uhhhhhhmmmm.
The episode was also talking about neuralink, the chip that Elon Musk is making to connect our brains to the internet. And as I listened while I folded a half hour earlier I thought, oh no that’ll NEVER be me. Who on earth would sign up for that? Are they IDIOTS? We need REAL LIFE. And then fifteen minutes later, I lost my phone and started to have a mental breakdown over not being able to finish listening to the episode about how tech is taking over our lives.
I knew I didn’t need my phone. But I was not ok just… sitting down and not knowing where it was. I needed it in my hands. I wasn’t complete… without it.
A few minutes later I found it. It was on a shelf in a room I hadn’t even been looking in, and I have absolutely no idea how it got there. Seriously. I still can’t figure it out. I don’t know when I walked into this room and put it in here, during the time frame that I lost it in… I don’t understand. So, we have a mystery, but not a very fun one. And not one I’m going to spend any more time trying to figure out.
It was probably lost for… 15-20 minutes.
And it was emotional mayhem.
I texted Maria, and my other friend who I’d texted about my woe, that I’d found it. And then… I sat down and wrote this.
So… how is my social media break going? “Good.” How is me not having my phone in my hand every second of my life? Bad.
And that lets me know… it goes way beyond social media. I have now reached a point, where I am not ok not having my tech/AI arm extension. It may as well be a chip. The chip is there, figuratively.
Well not really, obviously the real chip is worse. (Guys! Don’t let them implant a chip in your brain or skin!) The fact that it’s not implanted into me, means I still have a chance to break free. And be human. Be connected. Be present. Be alive while I’m alive.
I actually haven’t looked at my phone once, the entire time I’ve been writing this (about an hour, or a little more.) That’s one reason why I love writing. I’m actually present while I’m writing.
And that’s good. Writing is good. Creativity is good. That’s all fine and lovely.
But I guess… it’s still a disconnected, lonely world. Because I’m still staring at a screen, writing digital words to thousands of people I’ll never meet.
UPDATE: A day later, I remember now why I went over to that shelf while I was talking to Maria: I had to go get her a spare key, and the key was on that shelf, and I put my phone down... and the rest... is history.
Happy to report I don't have a poltergeist.
Writing this actually restored some energy to me, so, maybe that’s why I lost my phone: to lose my mind, to write this post, and regain some life force after all.
I will try to be back in your inbox on Tuesday, but in order to do that, I need my energy back. I don’t know where it all went. So, wish me luck.