I've been pretty MIA this past month and let me tell you why.
I lost my phone.
I was pretty heartbroken about it, but like everyone was quick to tell me, while looking up for 5 seconds from their own phone screens, things could be worse. At least I had my health.
It's not a particularly unique case of a missing phone. I was out with a few friends, the next day when I looked for my phone to look at the (probably terrible) selfies from last night, I realized what happened.
It was heartwrenching. Everything, EVERYTHING was on that phone.
Phone numbers, notes, appointments, Google maps which I relied to navigate around Dubai (I'm the worst), my alarms for work (I had at least five), pictures, videos, my really cute polka dot phone cover that everyone hated.
We did what we could to try and locate the phone - I had installed the lose my Android app with GPS which shows you the last location before the phone died, we deduced it was probably in the cab, but after many calls to RTA, there was no answer about the phone and the case was closed. People told me to lodge a case with Dubai Police, in case the phone was stolen, but I knew at that point it was pretty much hopeless. The phone was gone for good.
40 days? Why did you go that long without a phone?
I didn't. A week later, I caved and decided to upgrade to a newer version of my old phone. Unluckily for me, upon opening the box the first day, I discovered the device was defective. Long story short, after multiple visits to the seller, and a lot of struggles with the management, I handed back the phone and got my refund.
By strange coincidence, all this happened around the time of the iPhone 6 launch, and the Middle East's largest electronics event, Gitex, where they planned to release it to the public.
I read every blog post, watched every product review, and every news article about the iPhone 6. #Bendgate had me a little concerned but I have the upper body strength of a toddler, and wouldn't bend my phone like a very expensive Twizzler anytime soon.
In the meantime, I used a replacement phone without any internet data package (I felt like I was living in 2004 again).
On the day of the launch I headed there, braved the throngs of people and went up to the first seller I saw -
Me: "Do you have -"
Seller: "The iPhone 6. Nope, all sold out."
This was Day 30 without a smartphone. Getting home after pushing myself out of the swarm of shoppers, I was sweaty, exhausted and emotions were running high.
My concerned sister went online and purchased an iPhone 6 from JadoPado (a Godsend) and I had the phone a day later.
I was overjoyed.
31 days of endurance without a smartphone. With having to sit and watch other people happily using their own phones.
Of being the last one to dish out on anything new or be up to date with news.
Resorting to desperate measures to appear less awkward in public. (Image source: Gifly)
Of missing that 15 minutes of bliss in bed before sleeping.
Of not taking any selfies. When I got my hair cut, it made friends and coworkers do a double take since they hadn't seen any pictures online. I think people may have forgotten what I looked like completely.
Of not being able to surreptitiously glance at my phone when I was bored, or when I needed to Google something or Shazam a song, or show someone something cool.
I know there were a few times I was glad I didn't have a phone. I went to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball and Zedd in Dubai. Both were absolutely amazing, and even better because I wasn't one of the hundreds of other concert-goers with raised hands recording blurry footage on their phones, and Snapchatting selfies to make their friends at home jealous.
Or realizing how rude it was when people were on their phones constantly during a meal or at the cinema.
I saw this video that went viral that talks about the social media age we are in currently. It makes you think about taking a break from your phone and appreciating real life once in a while.
I watched it from my iPhone, oh well.