When a loved one or friend goes away, you grieve. When a beloved pet dies, you grieve. Heck, you probably grieve a little if your favorite sports team loses the big game or if your favorite shirt suddenly disintegrates, but grieving over technology? Really? I am almost ashamed to say yes, I did in fact grieve a little yesterday when my iPhone suddenly bit the big one.
Before I continue you must know cell phones and I have had a rocky yet passionate relationship. I used to HATE my cell phone, probably because it was just that. A phone and nothing more. I never took it with me or left it turned on, which drove my husband crazy. My main motivation for getting an iPhone came after my PDA finally died. I spent months convincing my husband that if I had an iPhone, I’d take it with me everywhere and leave it on so that he could always get in touch with me. He had no idea what he was in for.
When I discovered all the cool stuff, crazy apps, games and ability to surf the net anytime, anyplace, I became an iPhone junkie. When I began seriously using my iPhone for its photographic abilities, I was a full-on addict. There was no going back. Until my 3GS dropped in the ocean one day while walking our dog on the beach.
I was without the phone for a few days and it was like you’d cut off my arm but I was OK. I got my new phone, which I named Zelda, in a matter of days.
Fast forward to last Friday afternoon. I took my son to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun. On the way back to the car I noticed something was leaking in my bag. It turned out to be my water bottle. Zelda was safely tucked away in an outer pocket of my purse so I figured it was OK even though the screen was a little wet. After all, this same phone had already survived being submerged in a wet sink and a pint of beer, countless trips to the beach, plus a very wet run one day when a freak storm caught me a mile and a half from my car. Zelda had a day of R & R in a bag of rice and, fortunately, some scant water marks below my screen in the shape of the Hawaiian islands were the only reminders of that ill-fated run. It could handle that. Unfortunately, last Friday’s event would prove to be disastrous. Water must have dripped in the phone, either that or it had finally reached its aqueous limit because when I tried turning it on nothing happened.
The next day I took it to my local AT & T store and the nice fellow stated it was most likely dead. He suggested a trip to the nearest Apple store which, in my case, is two hours away and requires major planning to reach. I was devastated since it meant I’d be iPhone-less for another 24 hours. No Words with Friends or Plants vs Zombies to distract me from the doldrums of hanging out at home. No texting, instant net surfing or Hipstamatic! My whole life was in that thing from contacts to passwords and lists of new beers and wines I was trying to find. This sucked.
I became cranky, sullen and totally bummed. My husband joked that I was grieving my loss and at first I blew off his comments but the more I thought about it the more I realized he was right. I had become THAT person, the one for whom a smart phone has become like another appendage. As an analogue kind-of-girl I felt really stupid. Could I really rely on one device that much? Then I talked with a friend about it and she said we’ve all become that kind of person. In fact, those who don’t rely on their phones (like my husband) are quickly becoming the exception to the rule.
Getting my replacement phone the next day was like being reunited with an old friend. It was good to instantly be able to communicate with everyone again. The weight of it in my hand felt reassuring and right. However great it was to be able to text, surf the net and access my accounts, being able to take pictures again was the best feeling ever.
So yeah, I grieved the loss of an inanimate object and I felt ashamed but now that I have my phone back I feel free! I’m thinking of naming this one Jesus or Lazarus to up the chances of resurrection should it decided to go swimming again.