I’ve got four exams next week so let’s make this quick.
I’ve always meant to talk about this whole incident, I just never got around to it for whatever reason. Maybe I was just blocking it out of my memory.
Looking backing on this, I’m the biggest idiot to ever live on the face of this earth, but never mind that! On to reliving horrible, stressful memories!
I had just come back from dinner with my roommates and I was looking for my phone. I couldn’t find it, but I wasn’t too worried because I’d misplace it all the time. It was in a white case, I had a white bedspread, and my eyes are awful even when I’m wearing my glasses (I should probably get that checked out) so at this point not knowing where my phone is was part of the normal routine.
I asked my roommate to call my phone and I didn’t hear anything, which made me incredibly Uneasy. Then roommate says that instead of ringing, she went straight to voicemail, which made me quite Nervous, because I knew my phone wasn’t dead so it had to be off.
So I ran back to the dining hall and asked very calmly and collectedly to be let back in so I can see if I left my phone at the table and therefore be set free from this swirling vortex of fear, anxiety, and self-hatred. I didn’t just lose my phone. I had lost my debit card and my Rutgers ID and my state ID and whatever tenuous control I had over my life.
I spent the next four days obsessively checking Find My iPhone just in case the heinous thief who had stolen my phone and turned it off suddenly became wildly incompetent at stealing phones. No such luck.
Let me just say that this story has a happy ending. My phone, debit card, Rutgers ID, and state ID turned up eventually.
But for the phone days I was phone-less, life was very difficult in ways I didn’t expect.
The lack of contact with my friends was strange. My friends and family were kind enough to switch all conversations to Facebook now that texting wasn’t an option (My dad just emailed me, but he did that anyway so there wasn’t much adjustment there), but I could only interact with them while I had access to a computer, which wasn’t always. So that was a bit odd.
You also never realize how much you appreciate being able know anything at any time. How did people in the olden times do it? We have the power to find out breaking news in a country thousands of miles and also how tall Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is whenever we want. Appreciate that, kids. You’ll never know when that power will go away.
I never knew when the buses were coming. I never knew what time it was. What if one of my professors suddenly sends out an email canceling class while I was on my way to that class? That never happens, but what if? Not having my phone felt oddly isolating. It was like I was cut off from the rest of the world and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.
Anyway, on Monday I got an email saying that my lost property had been found and I could pick it up from Public Safety Building. Thank the Lord! I almost left in the middle of class to go get it, but there were only twenty people there so I figured it would be kind of obvious if I left.
So as soon as I could, I go to Public Safety Building and wait a good half-hour for the guy who returns lost items (AKA The Most Wonderful Man In The World) to get back from his lunch break and then my phone was returned to me, my debit card and IDs perfectly intact.
“So where was it?” I asked, turning over my phone in my hands to make sure that it was real. I could hear choirs singing in my head.
“Oh, on the bus,” said The Greatest Man Who Has Ever Lived Or Will Live. “Have a good one!”
“Thank you, kind sir! I shall name my firstborn after you!”
(I didn’t say that. That’d be weird.)
I was a little confused about how my phone ended up on a bus because I am 100% sure I left it at the dining hall. I’m pretty sure someone took it, but did they have a change of heart? Did they look at my ID picture and think, “No, the world has done enough to this unfortunate soul”? Was my phone just really easy to lose? I may never know.
It was definitely an interesting experience living without my phone for a few days. Would I repeat it? No. (Have I? Yes, against my will.) And I’m sure one could say all sorts of insightful things about technology’s effects on society and how people experience the world. How connected everything is these days, friends and strangers and information.
But like I said, I have four exam next week, so I guess you guys can think about it. Maybe leave your phone and go on a walk and you’ll see what I mean. But make sure you know where you leave your phone and not leave it up to the will of the universe whether or not you get it back.