Our phone has become like a miniature dictator. In fact, we live in a world where we’re dominated by one thing more than any other. Not death, not taxes, not even relationships — but our phones. Whether it’s on charge, in your pocket, on a desk, or in your hand right now, it is dominating you. You may hold it in your grasp thinking you’re the boss, but really that small little box holds you.
You pay with it, you email with it, you work on it, and every so often you talk into it. My, isn’t it all brilliant, but also a bit irritating?
I use my phone a lot, not because I’m an ‘influencer’ who blogs support for a vegan fat-free phone case, but because I am the director of media relations for a growing LGBTQ+ organisation which I co-founded. Everyday all day, I’m constantly on alert for any important notifications.
Personally, I hate that sensation, being on constant alert, like a navy watchman on standby in the Atlantic, during World War Two. I’ve become tetchy and highly strung. As a result, any opportunity to be away from the internet, even for a few minutes, is blissful.
In a rare bit of praise then, thank GOODNESS for the Northern Line. The best thing about my occasional commute to the City of London, is that its underground is hidden from 4GEE and WiFi. My phone lies silent, no-one can reach me. Peace from the field of battle.
But wait, there’s a bonus. My phone is now at a point where there is a delay between my resurfacing and it reconnecting. At these junctures I’ve started to do something I realise I haven’t done in a long while. I look up, above eye level to the sky.
Believe it or not there really are some stunning sights to behold when you crane your neck and take it all in. Here’s one, get out at Bank Tube, take the exit to Wellington’s statue, turn around and face what is without doubt one of the more fascinating sights of the city.
Unfolding before you will be a collision of architectural and cultural history the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else.
In front of you, you will find the offices of the Royal Exchange, sadly clad in scaffolding (at the time of writing). Look down to your left and you’ll see in the distance the offices of Hawes and Curtis, its narrow profile curving around the corner. Look up again the ’70s/’80s stare you in the face as Tower 42 resplendent in grey and silver stands defiant. That’s not all, because dominating the centre of your view is 22 Bishops Gate, a modern monument of steel and glass, mirroring the day’s weather. This and The Scalpel next to it will bring you up to date.
You know the first time you meet someone truly incredible? That moment where you just want to stay in that one moment and drag it out and never let go? It was like that, for the first time in a long while I just wanted to stay.
Weird that, but if this tells you one thing, it’s that the eternal abyss inside your phone is wonderful but that finite, even manmade one above our heads is much more beautiful when you look up.
Oh, and if you want to see that view for yourself, here are the coordinates: 51.513450, -0.088629