There has been a lot of discussion in recent months about what it takes to regain freedom amid the COVID pandemic.
Vaccination status has been at the forefront of discussions, and more specifically the regulations put in place by the powers-that-be. In NSW that amounts to limited freedoms for the unvaccinated until December 15 when the state is expected to hit a vaccination rate of 95 per cent.
As I recently learnt, there is another situation that can impact on your freedom even more - a charged phone, or rather an uncharged phone.
I confess that I can be slack at charging my phone at times. My battery spends a lot of time hovering in the red and closer to the zero per cent than the 20 per cent mark.
In the past it was not a great concern, and I was comfortable in the knowledge that I could check my messages once I recharged this modern form of technology designed to keep me constantly connected to everyone.
In fact, there were times when a charged phone felt more like a nuisance - let's face it we all need a little down time on occasions. Who really needs to be contactable all the time? Without a charged phone I felt a little more free.
Since the start of the COVID requirements to check in with QR codes I have flown close to the mark many times. But more recently I encountered the full impact of what can happen without a charged phone. And I am of the new opinion that this connection to just about everything is now essential.
I had tended to several of my Saturday morning duties - diligently checking in and out at every location. At the time I was aware that the battery was very low. I would have charged it a little in my car but the cord to do that was playing up. My next stop was to go to a phone shop to get a new connecting cord for my car.
But just as I stepped up to the QR code at the store, for the purpose of checking in, the screen on my phone went black.
I stood there with what I'm sure was a dumb look on my face wondering what I could do. As it turned out I could do nothing except get in my car and go home to recharge what has now become my lifeline to the outside world.
Without a doubt many would refer to this as a 'first world problem' - a description I don't dispute. However, it has been an eye-opener for me as I realise just how much our life is ruled by technology. So much so that without a charged phone my freedom is all but lost.
I will accept the situation - because I really have no choice - and I enjoy the freedom to be able to move about as I please. I respect the regulations in place but I can't help feeling that the meaning of freedom has changed. Furthermore the device I once considered a hindrance to my freedom has become my lifeline to the outside world.
I guess another benefit of a charged phone is the opportunity to take photos of the things you see when out and about, as can be seen in this great collection of storm photos recently shared by readers and in the above photo.
I'm choosing to stay freely connected, what about you?
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.