I was a Skype addict. And not just Skype, but all forms of new age communication tools. Blackberry, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even email. It took me a while to get over this mentally crippling and physically debilitating addiction. My smart phone turned out to be a real hero when it magically died on me and liberated me from its daunting chains.
I’m seriously blessed to have many wonderful friends and family in my life. When I first got to Calgary (and actually when when I first moved to Houston) my dear loved ones did their best to check up on me whenever they thought I’d be lonely. They knew that at least in the beginning, before I had the chance to meet many people, that more often than not I would be alone. Either due to my husband’s long works hours or because of a rotation based schedule. My three sisters, my parents, in-laws, grandparents, aunts and uncle, and not to mention a few of my beautiful friends all wanted to know about my new environment and what I was up to now in my crazy life.
More often than not, we’d have these conversations through Skype. It’s an amazing tool and I’m so happy to take advantage of it. I loved these Skype sessions. Day or night, each person made me feel a little less lonely and more in touch with the news I had missed out on. I could see new hairstyles and party decorations. I even joined in on family gatherings and girly getting-ready rituals before some sort of festivity from thousands of miles away.
Turns out being in a brand new city wasn’t too bad at all. I didn’t need to go out and make even more friends. Between the several Skype sessions a day, and hours of text conversations, I had no inclination (or the time) to explore.
I became perfectly comfortable in my lethargy, chatting away with a muted television in the background. It actually started getting annoying to leave my apartment to go grocery shopping. Who needed milk and bread? It’s remarkable how few supplies I was actually able to live on. And I’m not going to lie, more than a couple of days I didn’t really see the point of actually changing out of my pajamas.
Maybe this was my coping mechanism in dealing with my new expat life, but after a couple of weeks of living vicariously through my phone which was perpetually glued to my hands and the all-important Skype sessions, I started getting tired of my laziness. My back was hurting constantly, always tired, and I really missed any sort of intellectual stimulation.
Then a magical thing happened and I was saved. My Blackberry died. I was no longer connected 24/7 to the people I had inexplicably left behind. I even lost all my contacts, so when I got a temporary Canadian pay-as-you-go phone, I felt more than a little liberated. This little $30 old-time flip phone was my savior.
As soon as it happened I all of a sudden found myself going out more, feeling better about myself, and just lived my life instead of constantly talking about it. When I move back to Houston in a couple of weeks I plan on replacing my dead Blackberry with a more savvy smart phone. This was always the plan. But now I’m seriously afraid of a relapse.