Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Recharging My Batteries

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Recharging My Batteries

Article excerpt

I enjoy the summer holidays as much as the next man, but I do worry about how the newfound freedom reveals in me newfound levels of shallowness and hypocrisy. I can normally look back at some life-enriching times in my typical holiday - reading that recommended book, stimulating trips, memorable days with family - but what about all those many hours in between?

Consider my new obsession with my mobile phone. In lessons, I put on a great show of teacher umbrage over instances of below-desk juvenile phone fixation, but this holiday I have become just as desperately addicted. Not in the texting, tweeting or Snapchatting sense. In that arena, I could not begin to compete with our Year 10s Izzie, Fizzie and Tizzie, who haven't actually spoken to each other - in the conventional sense - for about two years now. But I have become just as absurdly infatuated by charging the thing up every night.

I knew things had gone too far when I woke up with the chilling thought - "OMG" - that I had forgotten to plug my phone in. With all the crises facing our world right now, this was the one thought that had disturbed the so-called head of humanities' sleep. It's shameful, I know.

When confessing my addiction to some friends, I was supposedly reassured with comments such as, "Don't worry, we're exactly the same", and a slightly patronising, "Welcome to the 21st century".

Maybe phone charging really is the hallmark of this century - an era when perhaps even sex itself will eventually be replaced by bedtime port-docking, by that supremely joyful moment when we see that the battery symbol is starting to throb and the electrons are pulsing through our device. …

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