Fifteen years ago I wore a Seiko wristwatch. It was given to me by my legendary Uncle Kevin (UK in the UK), about a decade before.
Fifteen years ago I didn’t carry a camera routinely. I had a 35mm Kodak one that my mum had given to me.
I It was heavy, had no zoom, but reliable. (I suspect it’s still around somewhere.)
Fifteen years ago I carried a diary. A basic Filofax clone, which I think was another great gift from UK in the UK. It also had phone numbers and addresses in it.
Fifteen years ago I had a payphone card. Provided I knew the number (or had written it down) I could phone anybody when I wanted from any payphone.
Fifteen years ago I didn’t play computer games when away from home. I’d had a couple of Game & Watchs in high school — Donkey Kong Junior and Donkey Kong II — but by the 90s, they were long gone.
Then in 1994 I got a mobile phone. The first was an Ericsson GH198, and at the time hardly anybody had a mobile phone, and you could choose some pretty good phone numbers. Mine ended in the numbers 326435 – or DANIEL. (I’ve changed it since, which memorably caused my departing phone company to send me a bill for three cents.)
And gradually the mobile phone (or to be accurate, subsequent models) took over from the diary, camera and game. Eventually I even stopped carrying a wristwatch.
I can barely remember what life was like before I had a mobile phone.
Until yesterday, when I left it at home accidentally. It’s happened on occasions before. And each time, I feel more naked without it. Some might feel liberated from it for a day. Not me, I felt isolated. Despite having ready access to email and web — including my appointments in Google Calendar — through the day.
Of course, I can ring the number and wait for the voicemail greeting, then press # to check the messages. Though it took about half a dozen goes to remember the PIN, which had me worried that I might really be cut off from the world.
Somehow, I managed to survive a full 10 hours without it. But I won’t leave it behind again, if I can help it.