Everyday Musings

How A Damaged Phone Helped Me Refresh

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’m a complete digital slave. I enjoy using my digital trio . A bit too much sometimes. Though I log off from social media and consciously stay offline for at least 10–12 hours every day, the digital world does have me wrapped around its (virtual) fingers.

I’m a complete digital slave and the digital world has me wrapped around its (virtual) fingers.

The month of September has been hectic for me, what with having to travel for almost a fortnight, first for work and then for pleasure. During my work trip, while I was returning to my hotel one evening, I was preoccupied with holding a bag of groceries, and bam! One out of my digital trio, my precious phone, fell flat on the face of the earth.

Hoping against hope that it was alright, I picked it up, and the sight of the shattered screen shattered my heart.

It was working, but with a few glitches, and of course, I couldn’t enjoy visual content to its best. I grumbled and stayed grumpy for a while, but eventually came to accept things as they were. Everything went on fine, albeit with some minor drawbacks, for a few days after that.

I was glad that at least the phone was doing was it is supposed to do, helping me stay connected to my friends and family, while I was traveling.

I returned home and just as I was getting used to my phone in this damaged avatar, one fine evening, it went AWOL on me completely. The screen was showing all sorts of varied colors, much like a kaleidoscope. It only made my heart feel grey though.

I just had one thought in mind: How will I use social media now?

Now that I was back from traveling, I had some backups. An old spare phone came in handy for an immediate solution. Though not ideal, I reminded myself that beggars are not the choosers and made the switch. However, there was one little problem. This spare phone had an older OS that did not support WhatsApp.

Anyone who knows me knows that my two favorite apps are Instagram and WhatsApp. Also, since I’m an NRI, WhatsApp is my go-to for making audio/video calls with folks back in India. A lot of my clients from India also contact me through this app. Hence, I spent a fretful morning informing people about my unavailability and figuring out a way to stay connected.

The spare phone had an older OS that did not support WhatsApp. Since I’m an NRI, WhatsApp is my go-to for staying connected with my folks and most of my clients back in India.

Once my mind accepted the reality, I suddenly found myself relaxing. Overcome with a sudden idea and without putting much thought into it, I packed my laptop and walked out of the house. Now, the thing is, as a freelancer, I have been working remotely for many years. This ‘remote’ work generally happens from my home space, especially since March 2020.

However, before the pandemic, I sometimes used to go to cafes and libraries and work from there. It provided a nice and refreshing break from the monotony of working from the same space and place every day.

Resolute in bringing about this routine into my work life again, I made my way to the local library. Browsing through the many books, smiling at the book lovers, and making small talk with the locals, made me forget why I was so worried in the first place about losing my phone. Eventually, amid all this, I also found a space to open my laptop and work.

Turns out, I was way more productive working from this space than from my home. I did not even realize when the hours passed and it was time for the library to close.

I had been meaning to visit this very promising library, which happens to be only a 30-minute walk from my home, for the past six months. What made it possible was an unexpected and unwelcome digital detox.

My takeaways from the experience:

  • Some damages come as a blessing in disguise
  • Don’t put off something just because it can be done anytime
  • A simple change in routine is all the refreshment you need sometimes


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12 thoughts on “How A Damaged Phone Helped Me Refresh”

  1. I can so relate to your feeling of being lost once your phone went kaput on you, mine did the same a couple of weeks back. And yes, while it was time of enforced digital detox, it made me realize it is not the end all of the world

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are so dependent on phones that when such things happen, it is actually a blessing. We should control social media and not let it control us.

    Liked by 1 person

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