I wrote this over a month ago. I forgot about it and it just sat there, digitally speaking. So here it is.
So the microphone on my phone died the day before yesterday. There was no cataclysmic event to signal its passing, just a phone call from a friend who couldn't hear what I was saying. At first I suspected one of the periodic bouts of terrible signal my flat suffers. But then the second call came and went with yet another person screaming "What?!" and "I can't hear you!!" followed by a small explosion of expletives cursing their phone, my phone, the networks and technology in general. I hung up and did much the same. Folks claiming we have replaced god with technology may be on to something - we curse both virulently when we feel they fail us.
My love-hate relationship with technology is such that I hate that I love it. There's a side of me that wishes I had only a landline, never had a Facebook account and thought the biro to be the only writing tool I would ever need. It's not a sense that technology is evil, it isn't, it's just a discomfort with my reliance on it.
And there's no more painful reminder of that reliance than a microphone dying. Or a hard drive failing. The things for which there are no real means of prevention, only measures to make the inevitable less painful.
So on the only day of snow this year, I jumped in the car and drove to Aberdeen and the quietest Apple store I've ever visited. The young genius checked my phone and then took it into the back room, no doubt checking to make sure that I hadn't dropped it in the toilet after hitting it with a sledgehammer. I hadn't, and so he gave me a shiny new iPhone (not a new new iPhone, sadly) and with an update and a login, I had my phone back, minus 2 texts I'd received between my last backup and my replacement. Fairly painless, and I enjoyed driving past the snow-blanketed fields of Angus and Aberdeenshire.
On a run about eight weeks ago, I sprained my right ankle in a fall so bad that the elderly couple I had been attempting to pass heard the crunch of tendons and ligaments as I collapsed. Only in the last week have I been able to run again, and it's been tough going. The weeks intervening, the recovery weeks, drove me slowly crazy with immobility and, most importantly, the sense that my body had failed me. Failed attempts to run again saw me barely able to make it around the block.
Rehabbing included stretching, ice packs and swearing profusely. Then there were the aches and pains that came from elsewhere, because of my limp. Injury begat injury.
I curse my reliance on technology and simultaneously fear its failure. I complain, whine and grumble about an app crashing or a corrupted file. But when I'm the damaged hardware, that's a different story. It throws it all into sharp relief. I'd rather drive to the Apple Store than Ninewells every time.