As I tumbled to the pavement in downtown Avalon, New Jersey, I knew I had a problem.
I had been texting, or tweeting, or Foursquaring — I can’t even remember, so it couldn’t have been too important — while walking. I didn’t see the step up I’d need to take to cross the pavilion in the middle of town because I was looking at my phone. And, like an ass, I tripped and fell.
All the teenagers with skateboards who hang out in places like this, with stairs and railings they can do tricks on, chuckled at me. I got up as quickly as I could, pretending like nobody saw me. And perhaps Paul was the only person in our group who did.
And perhaps this was the reason he suggested a little experiment: No smartphones while we’re together, for a period of time TBD.
This is for a story, of course. There will be some rules, the most important being that we can still use them to make or receive calls. (Oh, right. Phones do that.) The bottom line is: As the only person in our relationship who has Facebook and uses Twitter more than a couple times a week, I’m going to have a much tougher time with this than he is.
I like to think I’m not nomophobic, but I do get anxious if I can’t find my phone or if I forget it at home. And I do find myself checking it mindlessly, even when I’m with Paul. Yo, Meghan: Your Instagram feed won’t know or care if you’re ignoring it. And your boyfriend is more interesting than it is, anyway.
I look forward to seeing how this goes. I doubt I would ever want to go back to a phone that just does calls and texts — Google Maps gets me around, I use Spotify whenever I need jams, and I like having a decent camera on hand at all times — but I’d like to put my in-person relationships first.
And, to avoid any more embarrassing wipeouts.
Somewhat related: I love this Louis C.K. interview in which he explains his beef with smartphones.