He woke up naturally at 7:00 in the morning. The sun was beginning to peer through his blinds and daylight started to present itself to his eyes. Woken up at the end of a sleep cycle and not jarred awake during REM, he felt completely rested and refreshed, ready to tackle the day.
He’d normally wake up to his phone’s alarm at 6:45 a.m. He’d then practice his morning ritual of turning off his alarms every five minutes, set from the 6:45, “I’ve got plenty of time to get ready for work,” to the 7:15, “Oh shit, I’m going to be late.”
This day, however, was unusual. His phone’s alarm did not go off. In fact, when he reached over to his nightstand, he couldn’t find his phone. It must’ve somehow fallen off in the middle of the night.
Perhaps then, it was a good thing his body no longer let him sleep in late. After two years of working life, his biology had conditioned itself to wake up early, every work day and even every day he had off. Gone were the college days of getting up past noon, to roll out of bed and go to Chipotle for breakfast. A new era had ushered itself in, a time in which he couldn’t even sleep in past nine.
He rose out of bed and checked the floor around his nightstand, looking for his phone. To his irritable astonishment, he couldn’t find it. His routine had now been thrown off – how was he supposed to spend the first five minutes of his morning checking Snapchat, text messages, and social media while still in the comfort of his bed? He needed this to prepare for a 9-hour day filled with 50% productivity.
After spending 30 minutes looking for his phone, panicking, getting frustrated, and growing pissed, he had no other choice but to head into work and leave his phone behind. He had an 8:30 he had to participate in, and then he wondered who the hell schedules 8:30 calls (must be those Eastern Time Zone bastards).
As he pulled out of his complex’s parking lot, he noticed no volume was coming out of his car’s speakers. “Damnit… Bluetooth.” He realized he wouldn’t be able to play any music or podcasts from his phone, and he would have to settle to listening to the radio like a peasant. Even worse, it’d be a morning radio talk show. How could his ride to work suck even more?
Once we got on the interstate, he stepped on the accelerator, up to 85 miles per hour, until he had to jump on the breaks. “Oh great, a traffic jam.” Sitting at a dead stop, and needing to keep his short attention span occupied, he reached into his center console to grab his phone to check Facebook. This was a no-go. This was Hell.
He got into the office just in time to throw in a K-Cup and dial in for his morning meeting. During his meeting, he gave informative responses and took accurate and complete notes. This was out of the ordinary because he was usually tempted by the allure of screwing around on his phone, so his responses and notes were generally half-assed.
At 9:30, his morning coffee was making its presence known on his body, similar to those Super Bowl commercials about either not being able to shit or not being able to hold your shit in.
He made his way to the bathrooms, reached into his pocket, and alas, he had no phone to surf the net while leaving his morning constitutional. No Yahoo! News to check. No hilarious PGP posts to read. Just darkness: him by himself, with his thoughts in his head and his pants below his waist. “How in the fuck did people used to shit before smart phones? I’m not bringing a fucking newspaper or magazine in here. I’m not that barbaric.”
Sometimes he’d get caught up in a long, fine piece of journalism about Donald Trump’s usage of the word “pussy” when referring to Ted Cruz (and ironically enough, not his attraction to his own daughter), and the sensor-activated ceiling lights would shut off after 10 minutes of no movement in the bathroom, leaving him stuck in the stall in the dark — but this was not the case today. He had done his business and was in and out in no time.
And so his day carried on like this. He was productive 100% of the day, and his peers and bosses took note of the amount of high-quality work he produced. They wondered how he was doing it, thinking he had discovered a “Limitless”-like drug (that doesn’t start with the letter ‘A’ and end with ‘all’). But he had a little secret – he had no distractions thanks to having no phone. Perhaps he’d carry on like this forever.
He later went out that night to celebrate his new promotion and raise. While he and a couple of his friends were at the bar, he had no choice but to be social since he couldn’t spend his entire time there looking down at his phone, scrolling through a newsfeed of his friends being sociable. It did upset him a little bit that he couldn’t Instagram a well-crafted picture of his soon-to-be passé craft beer, but he got over it once he took notice of a gorgeous brunette smiling in his direction. He walked over to her and chatted her up, and with his newfound suavity he was going back to her place merely seconds after “Hello.”
When the pair arrived at her downtown condo, she poured a couple of glasses of red wine, and before they could finish their drinks, they got down to business. This girl was into some weird, disgusting things, but he wasn’t going to judge her retro decisions, no matter how unkempt they were, because he was always down to try new stuff no matter how hairy the situation might get. Eventually, he just couldn’t handle it anymore and told the girl she was making some poor life choices. So, in a pissed-off fit of rage, she kicked him out of her condo. The only problem was, he didn’t have any of his clothes with him, nor did he have his phone. He couldn’t call his roommate. He couldn’t order an Uber. He couldn’t tell Twitter about what had just happened to him. He was straight up out of luck, and so he vowed to never leave his phone behind again.
30 years later, with poor vision from staring at a 2×4 inch screen, a tumor from radio waves, and arthritis in his fingers, he knew that he’d made the right choice. .
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