This is a true story.

Last night, I was in the bathroom. I washed my hands, then leaned over the (yes, it was clean!) toilet to grab a Kleenex. In one fell swoop, my iPhone slid from the pocket of my hoodie and…..kerplop. Yes. Ker. Plop.

I panicked, grabbed the sopping wet phone from the water (did I mention, the toilet was CLEAN??). I dried it off as best I could with a towel. The screen was a dull flicker, from the Apple logo to nothing…Apple logo…nothing. Now, before the incident, the phone itself was completely dead – the battery had just died and I was on my way to plug it in to the charger for the night. So, at this time I have no way of knowing if it’s going to be okay or not.

I’m slightly reassured by a similar incident that happened to a friend last week, where her iPhone ended up running through an entire washing machine cycle, and came out totally, totally fine. My hubby immediately went online to try and find out what we could do. As a result, my iPhone is currently getting a 48 hour rice bath, and I’m crossing my fingers.

But here’s the interesting part.

I’m more upset than I thought I’d be.

It’s not the phone itself that I’m grieving. What’s causing my emotional distress is what the phone does for me.

That device is my phone, yes, but that’s the part I use the least. It’s also my Email on the road, my To Do list, Calendar, Weather Map, Daily News, Text Messaging service, and myriad other useful things. My mobile device is fully integrated into my life. Some things are a comfortable habit – I have a wake up routine, where I pick up my phone, and, still in bed, read the news, and if I’m not feeling like getting up right away, maybe I check Twitter, Email, Facebook and the like.

This morning, I reached over, and my phone wasn’t there. So I just got out of bed. It felt a bit weird. I’m sure as I go through the day today, I’ll reach for it some more. Instead of checking my phone when I’m waiting in line at the coffee shop, I’ll have to do something else. Instead of replying to emails while I’m out and about today, I’ll have to wait till I get home to my computer.

Now, there is a certain segment of the population who will probably tell me all that is a good thing. We’re too attached to our technology anyway. We don’t have to be “on” 24/7. But here’s the thing. Having a mobile device with me as I go through my day makes me much more productive. I’m tracking tasks, scheduling appointments, replying to emails, communicating via text with my team, and keeping up on the days’ events all while I am on the go. I steal moments here and there to do these things, so nothing piles up. As a result, my inbox is always relatively clear, and my schedule is always relatively sane.

What I’m worried about (particularly if the rice bath doesn’t work and I have to go shopping for a new smart phone) is that the failure of my technology is going to cause my systems to fail too. That what’s already going to be a busy and stressful week will be made more so because I can’t manage my information on the fly.

Then again..maybe it will teach me some new ways of doing things.

I’m not upset about my phone. That’s just a thing, and things can be replaced. I’m upset about the impact it has on my systems. But, because I always try to see the positive side of any situation, I’m going to look at this as an experiment – to see if I can improve my systems, by having them ripped out from under me.

And, in the meantime, I have this very cute little retro Motorola V300 that my husband found laying around. I’ve decided I’m going to choose the cheesiest ring tone available, and hope that lots of people call me, just so I can feel all 2005. I’ll have the sheer, er….joy of typing text messages on a 10 button phone pad again.

You know what? At least I still have a phone, and at least I have text messages. Those systems are intact. We’ll see about the rest after a few days.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: The Motorola phone has seen better days. So, my business partner is kindly lending me her old BlackBerry Pearl to use in the meantime. Feeling a little better that at least I’ll have email on the go. And a QWERTY keyboard.

7 Responses

  1. I remember when I worked freelance in Toronto and used my cell a lot, too. Those days, thankfully, are gone. I no longer need any technology since I work for my husband. Who but him really needs to get ahold of me these days? It's pure bliss. I love it. I realise my lifestyle isn't for everyone and there will be a few of your other commenters who will openly gasp and stare in wonder at me, but I tell you, it didn't take long to get used to not being accessible 24/7 once I changed jobs. Oh, and the headaches went away along with the stress. Hee.

    You are very resilient. You'll make this week on an old phone work for you. And most of your clients/staff won't even notice. Guaranteed. Your pets, however, will miss you sticking a shiny object in front of them as you tell them to pose over and over, though. They are the real “victims” here. 😉

  2. As someone who has lost three BB's in my career – coffee, wine, water – I can feel your pain. They have engineered the smart phones with harder cases for the hand slip meets pavement incident, they now need to work on the waterproof technology to protect us from the various liquids in our lives. I hope your iPhone makes a speedy recovery!

  3. Unplugging (even reluctantly and without planning to) is a good thing, and I wish more people would do it.

    That said, my PC died when I arrived at my hotel last week. I went nuts. I wasn't able to make airline reservations for an important, last-minute trip…but then I was — I had to (gasp) call the airline, and talk to a person and go through all my options and explain how the customer service agent was supposed to apply my points…

    I'm not being sarcastic — I seriously was losing my mind without my pc and internet. And the airline reservations took about 5x as long.

    I was able to recover everything in 2 days. So, yes, disconnecting is good, except when one needs something.

  4. You know, I used to wonder why folks were so attached to their iPhone, or BlackBerry, or similar. Now, having used one for almost a year now, I couldn't see myself ever being without it. I feel your pain, miss.

    But old phones rock the casbah, too! 😉

  5. Poor you (and poor iphone) but really, mostly it's poor contact with your regular peeps.

    Of course, there is something upsetting about changing the routine and a form of contact you have relied upon each day. I have heard that the iphone 4 is “not perfect” to quote Steve Jobs – and 3 milion “band-aid” rubber covers are being handed out customers to ensure “antennagate” doesn't affect the company's stocks.

    I guess that “band-aid” would fall off if it were dropped into some “clean” water too…
    Hang-in there, I too have heard from a recent and reliable source that the rice-bath works!

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