Last night I left my phone in a friends car. I can't remember the last time I was without my phone. I still don't have it 12 hours later and it is the weirdest feeling. My wife described it like what it must feel like to be missing an arm which totally captures what it feels like. Losing my phone revealed to me how much I rely on it. I use for my alarm, to keep in contact with people, it stores all my information and occupies me when I am bored. The Japanese have a saying, yudantaiteki (油断大敵) or "unpreparedness is one's greatest enemy and one that is too secure is not safe either."
As a modern person, I understand the need/importance of having a smart phone and how it is the way of the world. It almost seems as if one cannot function without one. As a martial artist, I can also see how we should not become too reliant on any one thing.
Not being too reliant falls in line with this idea in Buddhism and its influence on the swordsmanship teaching of non-attachment. When the mind becomes preoccupied they refer to it as being "moved." The goal of training is to train ones mind to be "immovable."
In the Unfettered Mind, Takuan Soho explains this succinctly: To speak in terms of your own martial art, when you first notice the sword that is moving to strike you, if you think of meeting that sword just as it is, your mind will stop at the sword in just that position, your own movements will be undone, and you will be cut down by your opponent. This is what stopping means.
Although you see the sword that moves to strike you, if your mind is not detained by it and you meet the rhythm of the advancing sword; if you do not think of striking your opponent and no thoughts or judgments remain; if the instant you see the swinging sword your mind is not the least bit detained and you move straight in and wrench the sword away from him; the sword that was going to cut you down will become your own, and, contrarily, will be the sword that cuts down your opponent.
As a martial artist, one should not become too reliant on any one thing or one person. To do so could lead to us be moved or for our minds to abide and in doing so we will be defeated. It is good that modern technology has made our lives much easier and convenient, but like all good tools we need to master them and not become slaves to them. Remember, the enemy of all good martial artist is a comfortable chair. Comfort can sometimes lead to complacency and for a martial artist complacency leads to defeat.
Losing my phone is a good lesson. Maybe I should take time out of my day every day to "lose" my phone so that I don't become too attached to it.