Phantom Limbs: A Phenomenon of the 21st Century

Sabrina Treitz

Give a dare to a child, and she will jump right in without a blink to anything other than the glory of the conquest.  While I may not have been playing a game of Truth or Dare? and despite my post-pubescent age, I’m always more than ready for a challenge.

That’s how I found myself with this voicemail last Presidents Day:  “Brina, text me that you got home safe! Call me back! I just want to know you’re home!  Sabrina—” …times four.

Rose Siddens appears in a missed call log four times from Presidents Day, a day without technology.

Rose Siddens appears in a missed call log four times from Presidents Day, a day without technology.

Which wouldn’t be surprising if you knew my mother—she’s been known to chew over a dial to the police should she not hear from me within minutes of her first call.

Twitching like a galvanized mouse, my hand is empty.  Of what? you may ask, and the answer is complexly: my soul; and simply: my phone.

And it’s flashing Rose Siddens for the fifth time.

As a child of the 90s, the closest thing I had to attachment issues with technology was worrying about feeding my Tamagotchi.  Theoretically speaking, I couldn’t have been more prepared for a day without my cell phone, and I was succeeding until I returned to the city after celebrating my mom’s birthday.

I was in a taxi when I heard it first ring, entering my apartment the second, in the bathroom for the third, and watched four and five come in from the comfort of my bed.

People find it hard to think about the old model of a 24 hour response time.  That was fast.  Now we have cell phones, tablets, e-readers, even smart glasses, keeping us in a cloud of constant connectivity, and everyone has adopted the ‘I want what I want when I want it’ mentality.

Momma Rose wants me to answer her.

As a montage of the possible consequences stemming from ignoring her all night runs across my mind, despite the strongest of wills, I scrunch my nose and release a puff of air—I hit accept.

Only hours before a cork is put in a full calendar day and relocated to storage, I‘m back to clutching a rectangle of glass and titanium, reaching out to friends and family with a prosthetic extension of my arm.

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