Monday, October 31, 2011

myPhone: Part I

On Sunday night, my iPhone was stolen.
At the Fall Festival.
At our church.
How's that for irony?

It's sickening, really, and that's exactly how I felt when I realized that someone more than likely walked away with my phone as I passed out candy in a game booth. (One of the frustrating parts about this scenario is that I knew...I knew...this was a possibility, and so I deliberately hid my purse in a filing cabinet, and thought my phone was out of the way enough to be in a safe place, too. Clearly, it was not.)

I have never felt so violated, so taken advantage of, or so hurt. I cannot, cannot understand how someone could do what they did. They must be in a desperate place, and I am so trying to remind myself of that. Nevertheless, I'm crushed. My phone had passcode protection, and we deactivated our phone service quickly, so I am very much hoping that my data remains secure and that the collateral damage is minimal.

My condition Sunday evening was...not good. I had a good cry once I got home, letting down from the feeling of helplessness and emotional distress. Today was quite an interesting day, sans phone. But, my outlook at this point is greatly improved, and I'm thankful that I chose to hold off on blog-writing until my state of mind could be considered more "reflective" and less so "vindictive". I'm not upset about the phone itself. It's replaceable. (With some birthday cash that I'd earmarked for curtain-making...sigh.) But, it's the apps and photos and such that I cannot get back that I'm sad for now.

In any case, this experience has made me think.

First, I've found myself thinking that the amount that I rely on that device is impressive. It is my alarm clock, my watch through the day, my connection to everyone, my source of news, my camera...and even when I'm not using the phone, I know it's there and I can. (Basically, it's my grown-up security blanket.) To a degree, yes, I'm sure I rely on my phone more than I should. But, it's the world that we live in. And rely on it, I DO.

Secondly, I've thought about the personal nature of our phones these days, and that it's the loss of that personal data that makes this hard. Yes, it's just a phone, made of metal & plastic & gizmos & gadgets. But, the beauty of iPhones (and likely smart phones in general) that I hadn't appreciated until now, is how much it becomes a personal reflection of us. My photos, my music, my facebook, my e-mail, my contacts.... Those things help tell my life story, and it is violating to have that taken away. And, it isn't just the personal data, but the personal habit. Using my phone throughout the day...from checking the ABC News app. as my hair dries in the morning, to catching up on e-mail as I unload the a part of the habits of my daily life. When that is disrupted, when that is taken away, it doesn't just feel like a piece of technology any longer, but it feels as though it really is a piece of my life. I had no idea until I was forced to spend a day without my iPhone, just how much I use it...and enjoy doing so!

Third, I realize that having an iPhone stolen is hardly the worst thing that could happen. To even have have once had an iPhone, for goodness sake, is evidence of my being a part of a very privileged segment of the world's population. I know that life could be so much darker for us than it is. Relatively speaking, this still only falls in the "annoying" category of the difficult experiences that life can bring.

Finally, I really wish someone had told me about MobileMe or the FindMyiPhone app. before this happened. Sure, everyone was happy to tell me about the perks of such apps once it was too late to be of any use to me. Haha. Everyone was sincerely trying to help, but it is truly an awful feeling to think that, had I had such a tool on my phone, I could've tracked the stolen device or wiped the phone's data or done something else similarly useful. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. So now, besides just feeling bummed that I didn't have an obviously well-known phone feature that could've saved me from this emotional turmoil, I'm also left wondering, "what other super-handy things do my friends and loved ones know about that I don't?!" Please share, won't you?

On a similar note, do you know what the iTunes App Store shows as the example of what the FindMyiPhone app can do? Take a look.

Emily's iPhone located? Really? Just plain cruel, don't you think? Tell me about it.

(Stay tuned for an update. This story is just about to get good!)

1 comment:

  1. Ugh! That is truly annoying and so terrible of someone to just take it like that.... Do you every back up your apps when you plug your phone into your computer? If so, you should be able to plug in a new phone and reload all of your apps and their information on to it.... This is especially helpful for any that cost money!