Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are You Sure You Want to Delete this Contact?

Leave it to your phone to give you second doubts about deleting a contact. Are you sure? Really, really sure? Because what if something comes up and it turns out you need that phone number after all? 

It is ironic how deleting someone from your contacts list is so damned hard. It was so much easier back when we all had landlines. All you needed to do was cross it out of your address book or simply misplace it. Of course if you had it memorized you were pretty much stuck with it. But then, if you had it memorized they probably weren't going to go anywhere, anyway.

But now... no one remembers phone numbers. If you delete a contact they are well and truly gone. There is no going back. No turning over the page and trying to see the numbers you scribbled out. No checking the phone book. No tearing up the house looking for that scrap of paper. You have to be sure. 

It is almost easier not to bother. Just keep that contacts list full of people. Give them funny names and just keep them there. Maybe that 300 people in your list gives you a sense of community, of belonging, of being loved. You may not remember who half of them are, but they are there if you need them. A list full of old loves and old friends, none of whom are in your life anymore. But they stay in your contacts list. Just in case.

Then, when you finally get up the nerve to delete a contact it is your phone (and only your phone) that brings up every nagging doubt you have left by asking "are you sure?" All of your real life friends and family are asking why you haven't done it already, but your phone is that same nagging little voice deep down inside that whispers "maybe things will change. Don't delete it!"

Yesterday I deleted Ex's phone number and email. He is well and truly gone from my life. It was bittersweet, but also time. There is no back now. Only forward.

And yes, I was sure.

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