Are you tired of the time your other half spends on their phone?
We live under the same roof. Me, on one settee and him on the other, with mobile phones in hand scanning the newsfeeds of anonymous faces. Without looking at one another, we fail to agree on a TV planner selection as the evening ticks away. One of us makes a vague suggestion about a recommendation from someone at work.
“What about that police drama set in Yorkshire?”
“I don’t mind what we watch”.
Neither of us commits to a decision and so we resort to obligatory channel surfing in the hope that something exciting will jump out at us. We wait for the programme that will ultimately encourage us to part with our devilish devices. Nothing does.
He continues to scroll a social media site. Poised, while he perpetually presses the ‘like’ button, he offers occasional comments about someone we vaguely know. I feign interest in the utterance about this random person and I resort to scanning my own list of anonymous faces on my screen.
We exist in the same house but when do we see each other?” I say. I’m reading my group Whatsapp about an upcoming girls get together when I speak. I wonder what I’ll wear for it?
We talk about a ‘phone ban’ or a planned ‘ date night’ ironically between an alert about football scores and conversations about headlines on the news app. We discuss a text message from one of the couples asking if we’re free at the weekend. But we don’t look up at each other; we’re glancing at the lives of people we used to go to school with.
After I’m satisfied that I’ve read everything and I’m suitably updated, I feel ready to be in the room again. I can’t understand why he doesn’t part with his mobile too. Surely, he senses that it’s not phone time anymore? My annoyance bubbles because we’re not doing ‘something together’. Of course, I ignore my hypocrisy. I’m just as much to blame. My exasperation is interrupted; it’s an alert from the other settee.
It’s a video of an animated character from the app-of-the-moment. The character declares its love for me in a comical high pitched tone to disguise my boyfriend’s recorded voice. Who says romance is dead?
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