I finally found time to sort some editorial and commercial work that's been sitting in the archive. Yey!
So I thought it was going to be heartbreaking, drastic and melodramatic [Insert melancholic music here]. Since I'm not a fan of backing up, my contacts, files, notes, videos and some 2,000+ photos were all gone just like that when Melvene, who totally forgot that my phone's in his pocket, jumped into the pool after hearing the happy shrieks of our 2-year-old daughter - her first dip in the swimming pool. And I couldn't even start to get mad at my husband when we got back from the drowning phone mishap, with hair dryer in hand and a very apologetic look on his face. I just decided to let it go, as I sang the Disney's Frozen OST inside my head, while looking at my lifeless phone that I buried inside a bowl of bigas to help aid in its resurrection, but to no avail.
And I think I was sort of mentally prepared, after watching the sad movie Her. At least I don't have any emotional relationship with my phone. I think.
You may conclude that I'm overly optimistic to say that what happened was a blessing in the coming days. Without my phone, my attention was fully with my daughter, husband and my folks during our entire 4-day beach trip. I enjoyed every conscious minute with Issa, quiet moments with my book, the sound of crashing waves and the feel of sand, sun and breeze. During these four days, I realized how much addicted I was with my phone - checking the latest Facebook status and the latest Instagram posts as much as I possibly can, even when with my family around. Yes, that's me, with a raised hand, absolutely guilty. I'm a big fan of reading and of gathering information so just imagine what kind of paradise my mind's at whenever I'm plugged in. Well, that's the justification of this curious mind.
I guess, this is our generation's newest addiction, being in "contact" but not really being present in the moment. Not missing on updates, but missing in on what's actually happening. Not missing and missing, being present and absent at the same time - it's possible. And come to think of it, I think I won't like it when my daughter, who will soon be oriented with all these fast-paced gadgets and the new-breed technology will be bringing her tablet along while we're in the middle of family dinner. The scenario: "How's your day anak? She answers - with nothing. Eyes glued to the screen, she lets out a giggle. I'm not the source of her laughs now. The bird in the tablet is. Hmmm....so this is what my 21st century nightmare will look like.
As a person who has quit a really crazy smoking addiction in 2009 (Did I say 17 years of cigarette smoking?), I know how it is to be dependent on something. That even if I tried to quit so many times, I also failed so many times. Quitting an addiction is not just a light you turn off whenever you want to. It's lingering and it's a series of hard steps that took me years to overcome. And realizing how much time I go into cyberland, I found out that status checking on Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, Yahoo News! and all the wonderful article links, are my new cigarettes.
But how can we really say that this new way, this lifestyle which is entwined with technology is entirely wrong? Can I manage to give Isabelle a technology-free childhood when all of the kids play with tablets? Or should I even stop her from being part of technology's timeline?
How about the bad press that revolves around kids that use smart phones and tablets, didn't they say the same thing with the TV in the old days? Who am I to say that this is all wrong? And who am I to judge? Who am I to be righteous? The studies and statistics are too premature and cannot hold much as a refutation to the arguments inside my head.
I remember someone who once asked me to talk to her sister and tell her to quit smoking. I seem to be, at that time, the best resource speaker to give a one-on-one since I've had overcome my nasty habit. But I told her that I think no one can really intervene an addiction. That no outside force with a truck full of lectures can make anyone quit. Quitting is a decision. An addict will quit when he's ready.
Maybe I should start making boundaries with my status checking. How about starting with not holding a phone when the family's around. Or how about not sleeping with my phone and checking updates at 3AM. All of these sounds pretty familiar.