Saturday, 27 August 2011

Naked Pockets?

I think it was Steph who brought up in a post last week the question of how a walker feels in the absence of their artifacts or props of walking. I have often heard people say when they have forgotten things "I feel naked with out my watch, phone, ipod, etc." In this scenario you consider how your functionality is impaired but why use the word naked? The reality is "I don't have my watch so I don't know the time and I feel lost" or "I don't have my phone so I can't make contact with people or be contacted so I feel anxious." but people give more weight to this problem saying that it effects them on a physical level leaving them exposed and naked.

I tried a little empathetic experiment leaving everything behind but a few dollars in my pocket and walked to the corner shop and found the results suprisingly acute. The front pocket of my jeans felt particularly empty with out my phone. Normally when I have it I never really noticed how it moves and presses against my leg as I walk but its absence was quite stark and unsettling. I keep unconsciously touching my pocket and felt quite distracted as I walked. On the way home I felt more relaxed but I power walked the whole way as if I was wasting time. Quite odd. I felt exposed to people on the street and vaguely inclined to talked to them as I passed because I was not 'plugged in' to my ipod. It gave me the feeling that I was 'open for business' and that today more then any other strangers were going to randomly speak to me. Weird. Naked without being naked. The new modern phenomenon.

naked |ˈnākid|


(of a person or part of the body) without clothes : he'd never seen a naked woman before | he was stripped naked.

(of an object) without the usual covering or protection : her room was lit by a single naked bulb.

(of a tree, plant, or animal) without leaves, hairs, scales, shell, etc. : the twisted trunks and naked branches of the trees.

figurative exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable : John looked naked and defenseless without his glasses.

[ attrib. ] (of something such as feelings or behavior) undisguised; blatant : naked, unprovoked aggression | the naked truth.

I think when people use the term 'naked' in this situation it is used with the meaning of "without the usual covering or protection" and "exposed to harm; unprotected or vulnerable" as stated above. Our daily items are talismans of security so we feel naked without them and there absence is particularly notable when we are walking and they are no longer interacting with us. Listening to my ipod says to others "I can't talk.", having your mobile feels connected and wearing a watch I feel on top of things. Without them the personal bubble bursts and voila! Naked.

In this theme my sister recently returned from England and we cannot find that place we put her keys for safe keeping so whenever she leaves the house she complains about her 'naked pockets'. Poor girl.

1 comment:

  1. That's really interesting, I like your use of the words naked and talismans -gives a nice sense to the meaning of what you wrote.


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