I lost something precious (without realizing)

Did you lose it too?

It’s 2009.

I’m getting on the bus to travel back to my student dorm. I just visited my parents for the weekend to catch up on things. I don’t have a car, so I always use public transit to reach the village I grew up in.

Thankfully, there is a regular bus service to the city I now live in. It takes about an hour of sitting on the bus to get back.

I know the route by heart, every curve, every bus stop, every field we pass. I’m not bored while on the bus, I’m just sitting there patiently. Well, that’s because I have my iPod Touch with me. It’s loaded up with some sweet mp3’s that I illegally downloaded via some bittorrent website.

The collection of songs is quite limited, but a step up from my former 128MB mp3 USB-stick. The iPod has 4GB, an immense upgrade!

Photo of an iPod touch from 2005

I still have my iPod!

For an hour, I’m content just staring out of the window, heavy metal blasting through my ears. In the city, I get off the bus and wait 10 minutes for a local bus to get to my house. I just sit there at the bus stop, looking at cars and people passing by as a form of entertainment (and my music, of course).

I wouldn’t say my mind was quiet, but I felt a sense of acceptance that I had to wait to get home.

It’s 2010.

The iPhone 3G has been out since 2008. I see a good deal and decide to buy it, thinking this device will make me “more productive”. I never wrote down what I meant with that or why it was important, it was just a vague feeling that made me want the damn thing.

I end up watching quite a bit of TV on the train via my iPhone (for the Dutch people: NPO already had an app back then), and I feel like a badass typing emails on it with that signature ending “sent from my iPhone”. Other than that, not a whole lot of “productivity” was happening with the iPhone. Typing was slow and annoying, consuming things was a lot easier (even back then!).

It was truly nice to be able to take photo’s everywhere. In hindsight, that’s the only thing I really appreciate in smartphones.

It’s 2024.

I’m putting a left-over meal in the microwave and set a timer for 3 minutes to reheat it. I last about 10 seconds of those 3 minutes before I grab my phone and open Reddit.

I feel annoyed with myself. I don’t even enjoy looking at Reddit. It’s just that I cannot think of anything else “to do” and “just waiting” makes me feel so bored and restless.

What happened?

Somewhere, in those past 15 years, I lost something. Did you lose it too?

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