Is it just me, or is playing on your phone the new coping mechanism for feeling awkward or alone? It seems like every time I see a single person waiting for a table at a restaurant, waiting for their friend to show up at the coffee shop, waiting for the bus to arrive, they're looking at their phone like they're extremely busy and important and oh so glad they have a moment of solitude so they can plow through that gargantuan list of text messages. Right...
I could be projecting here, but I really think most people are just trying to alleviate the anxiety of aloneness.
And the truth is, I do the same darn thing.
Just last night, as I was waiting for a friend to meet me at a hip West Hollywood restaurant, my immediate reaction upon entering the building was to pull out my phone to keep myself company. Two other single men sitting near me were both on their phones, too. God forbid any of us should just sit there and enjoy the ambiance of the establishment.
But as I retrieved my beloved coping mechanism from my purse, I was suddenly aware that in addition to being embarrassed that I was sitting alone in a bar, I also needed to be embarrassed by the phone I was about to pretend to check. See, I suffer from upgrade aversion, and for the last 4...maybe 5 years, I've been carrying around this:
I love my little 1.3 megapixel purple flipper. I can type out texts letter-by-letter with my eyes closed. I can drop it on the floor a million times and it never breaks. It holds a small treasure trove of pictures I have no idea how to get off of it.
But when faced with the idea of having hipsters see my counter-culture mobile device in the carefully orchestrated light of a bar lounge, I was filled with iShame.
No longer did my phone feel like my security blanket. Or maybe it did feel like my security blanket except this time I was in junior high and all the kids were going to laugh at me if they saw me cuddling it.
Mr. W says I should upgrade and get myself an iPhone. He says if I don't, he's going to force me to take his current phone when he decides to get a newer version. I'm sure when that happens, I'll feel more comfortable about mobily soothing my anxiety in public.
Until then, maybe I'll try to work on honing my other coping mechanisms. Like inspecting my cuticles or balancing my checkbook.
Yup, still have a paper checkbook, too...