GAHHHHH! (Insert more inarticulate sounds here!) I have been having some phone issues lately. In August I bought a Samsung Galaxy SIII to replace the four year old Apple IPhone 3GS my cousin had given me as a wedding present. I liked the IPhone but it just wasn’t running very fast which was compounded by the fact for it to work in Turkey it had to be jail broken and I couldn’t update the operating system with out re-jail breaking it each time. So I decided, as I haven’t bought a new phone since 2008, I would get one I really liked.
In Turkey you can register a foreign phone every two years. I thought I had registered my last phone in August of 2010, so no problem. HAH! I had forgotten that I had actually registered my IPhone in February of 2011, however, my registration application did not bounce. If they had told me I couldn’t register it at the time, I could have asked Bülent to register the phone. Instead one morning in November my phone stopped working. It had been shut off as “unregistered” even though I had tried to register it and had received no communication that there was a problem in the process.
I called the government office which does the registration and they told me I could re-register the phone in January of 2013. I was leaving the country (you need a stamp showing entrance to the country less than 30 prior to register the phone) and coming back on December 26th for my trip to Vienna. So no smartphone for 2 months, fine.
Well, not so fine. When I called to double check the registration issues on January 2 it turns out my entrance to the country has to be after January 1, 2013 , as well. Which means I will not be able to register my phone until after I return to the U.S. in February.
I borrowed a friend’s extra phone for the duration. It is a basic phone will calling and texting, and it has been interesting. Did I die without my smartphone? No. Have I been lost and wish I had the Google Map app? Yes.
While I like smartphones, and will be using one again in February, in some ways I think we are over reliant on them. While I always was careful not to abuse my phone, I have been more sensitive to the way we use them. Checking Facebook while talking to each other, using it while at restaurants—keeping on top of what is happing online does not keep us in the present. Rather it distracts us from the experience we are having, keeping us from fully living in the present, in the now. When your attention is on your smartphone you are not really there. I will definitely be careful to stay in the present once I have my smartphone back. Though it will be nice to have Whatsapp back so I can text my mother and brother again- but that is a kind of in the present thing too.
For the details on phone registration in Turkey, check out Adventures in Ankara’s post.