It feels like it has been January for three months. And it feels like it has been a year since I last wrote in you. This is a good time as any to say happy New Year, right? Even though the year feels like it has aged.
I have been without a phone or a laptop for 7 weeks. I am sad to admit I am a hopeless technology addict. I have been communicating via letter tied to the leg of a bird, smoke signals and the likes. I had no idea how attached I had become to these things until they were not at my disposal. I woke up one morning and my phone refused to come on and it felt like my lover had deserted me, my heart ached. I spent so much money trying to fix it. it is not like I was even phoneless, I had one of these Nokia torch light phones to put my simcard in and receive calls with, but there was no internet, no twitter, no BBM, no whatsapp, no Google chrome, no book shelf filled with soft copies of my treasured books that I always chose to read over actual communication with real people. Then about a week after, my laptop too went in the same direction. I remember crying and sulking and asking God why. Like what have I even done to even deserve this? I sulked and threw mountain size tantrums when it became apparent that my parents did not feel the urgency I felt needed to be applied in replacing these devices. i blew a fuse when my mother said ‘But it is just a phone now’. Like, how dare you? Just a phone? It is my best friend, my ever present companion, an extension of my hands and I cannot simply exist happily without it.
Then it hit me.
It is actually just a phone. A phone I bought with my money and I had allowed it enslave me. How did it ever get so important? When did it become so hard to have actual face to face conversations about the way I feel? When did my happiness become so tied to that little device and the people in it? I was asking God why and crying like I had been cast the worst lot of all. Over a phone? Why?
Idols do not have to be carved figures that you have to bow to every morning and pour red oil on or something. I think I understand now that anything or anybody you rate so highly (perhaps even above God) becomes an idol. The process is usually a sublime one, it happens without you even realizing it.
I have a new phone now. And a new laptop. I will not even lie, I am happy. But I promise to try to not allow these things become major determinants of how wide my smile is, I promise to always make an effort to be grounded in reality; real life, real people, face to face conversations. I promise to be more careful of the things I allow occupy my heart and how much space I allow them occupy.