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Hell Is A 48-Hour Digital Detox

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I consider myself a spiritual person, my shelves are lined with all of the major thought leaders: Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, et al. I've been on the mindfulness train for years. Everything happens for a reason -- I've said it more than once. And I want this so badly to be my manifesto of enlightened transformation having released my digital chains.

The death of my phone as the catalyst to the death of my attachment to the internet and social media. That the loss of my phone is the best thing to happen, ultimately allowing me to emerge not only spiritually superior but with a life philosophy on the art of a tech free lifestyle. Sadly this isn't such a tale.

Moment of initial destruction -- watch as son jumps in glee on the bed and somehow make contact with a glass of water on my nightstand feet away. Respond quickly as a human paper towel, nothing I haven't done before people, control the spill with my pyjama clad body, victorious in minimizing the damage then realize in horror that my phone lies in a covert pool of water.

Shamefully snatch dripping phone in a fit of unconscious parenting and mutter about the injustice of not being able to own nice things.

Uneasily watch as a weird purple splotch stubbornly settles along the bottom of the screen - like Homer Simpson with his airborne pig roast - a desperate plea of "it's still good, it's still good" becomes my mantra as the splotch incrementally grows bigger throughout the day.

By midday, entire phone is the shade of the blueberry kid from Charlie & the Charlie factory - but if I squint and hold it at a certain angle I can mostly make out words and pictures.

Evening - the purple shade has become angry so I cocoon the phone in a bag of rice - the divine solution to water-logged handheld devices. Remove phone approximately every other minute with increasing concern as the screen graduates from purple to a very distinct pigment of complete black. Husband suggests that I walk away, a theory about a watched pot and such. Irrationally check on phone several more times before I acquiesce and settle in with an episode of Friday Night Lights to numb the prickling anxiety. Miss the entire storyline.

Go to bed feeling hopeful that after a good night's sleep both my phone - still in its bed of rice - and I will feel much better.

Wake up in the wee morning hours to the sound of crickets thinking that I hear a phone notification. A recently read cautionary article about children and screen addiction springs to mind. In it, in the middle of the night, a parent walks in on their son who is in a zombie-like trance with an iPad eerily glowing on his bed and experts throughout the article coin screen time as "electronic cocaine". I wonder if I'm a digital junkie, go to Google the symptoms, only to remember that phone is downstairs. I lie there awake and speculate that the diagnosis will not be good.

Run through the morning routine with kids barely able to refrain from bolting downstairs to check on prognosis. Gear up the courage to look only to come face to face with a completely black screen. Pings, chimes and blinking lights all mockingly suggest that life is still there behind the completely unresponsive screen.

There is a brand-specified service centre about 1.5 hours away and resolve that the drive will pay off as this is certainly not the worst they've encountered. Cradling phone in two hands, I present the situation to a technician who frantically shakes her head right from the word "water". Apparently a crack in the phone - another story that follows a similar trajectory, though with a happier ending - seems to have accelerated the penetration of water essentially injecting the moisture directly to the motherboard. Solemnly drive home with phone in passenger seat.

The unscheduled three hour drive has left little time to get to a provider to replace phone. Have plans with girlfriends to TIFF party hop -- weekday festivities, let alone several in one night, are a rarity and we're geared up. Send out an email to ask that we make very specific plans as I am unreachable by traditional text/what's app/Messanger methods; faintly remember a time before the prolific use of cell phones. What did we do? But really what did we do?!

Try to recall my pre-cell days to help navigate my current phone-free status. Nothing comes to mind. In a cab en route to meet friends - über app is inaccessible - a road closure leads to a significant re-route. Ask driver to please end his call so that I may notify friends.

Realize that I know not one number and call my husband. I know his number.

Perhaps this the new relationship status notice; surely "I know their number off heart" is indicative of a level above "in a relationship".

He promises to relay the message to my friends. I'm not comforted. Refrain from signing into my accounts on Martin's - my cab driver - phone during my fleeting and glorious encounter with his mobile.

48hrs+ without social interaction, text, mobile emails, camera. Somehow orchestrate a photo shoot with many moving parts, work out meeting places and backup plans and all actually goes off seamlessly. Am able to check email only when I find myself at a computer or on my laptop in wifi zones - a few important, high priority notices jump out from the message list but everything operates smoothly despite my intermittent sign ins. Check Instagram, seems that after not posting for a few days I've actually gained followers -- a subtle sting but interesting nonetheless.

A client with a mobile account has heard of my loss and generously offered a replacement. It seems my chakras are finally back in alignment. It has yet to arrive but I've stopped waiting at the door for the courier. I have also held back from following up with said client to revisit the anticipated arrival time of my new device.

The gap in obsessive phone checks has seemingly accumulated into more free time, with this post as evidence, a small feat that has escaped me for months -- who has the time to write? 140 characters at a time evidently adds up to a couple of glorious free hours. Perhaps there is a gift in this phone fiasco. Possibly. But I'll have to end it here; I hear a knock at the door and I pray that it's the delivery of my new phone.

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