Like a mother in a Disney movie, my cell phone died inexplicably. Well, not inexplicably. I dropped it in the toilet.
I was wearing jeans for the first time in seven months and had the phone in my back pocket when it promptly fell into the commode. My phone, not my back pocket.
There’s a universal response when you drop your phone in liquid; you reach in and grab the damn thing. It could be submerged in molten lava or boiling oil; you will instinctively reach for the phone at the expense of never using your hand again.
Snatching it up, I screamed several unprintable words and resorted to 15 minutes of “No, no, no, no, no!” I shook my phone, blew in it, prayed over it and dashed home to dump it in a bowl of rice. (A robot on Mars can send information to NASA but I have to submerge my phone in rice because it got wet.)
I thought, this would make a great Instagram post and frantically looked for my phone so I could take a picture of my phone sitting in a bowl of rice.
But I was phoneless. I reached for my phone nonstop. I absently grabbed the TV remote, trying to scroll through Tik Tok. I picked up my computer mouse to check the time. I kept patting my leggings where my cell phone used to be, frisking myself like some weird felon.
I realized I’m obsessed with how many steps I walk. I’m preoccupied with social media. I’m dependent on my phone to give me instant info. If I wanted to order from Amazon, I had to go into ANOTHER ROOM and use my computer.
After 24 hours, I turned on my phone.
Minutes later, I was kicking in the door at my cell phone company, begging them to fix my phone. They know me well because, having been bitten by a radioactive clutz, I break my phone often. But this time, they just shook their head and called the time of death.
Then someone suggested I contact Simple Fix in West Jordan, saying they work miracles. Miracles sounded pretty good, but they couldn’t look at my phone for several days.
Several days without a phone? Impossible!
What would I listen to while walking my dog? Who was Scam Likely going to call? What if Samantha Bee texts me about a job? How would I waste hours of my time doing something unnecessary?
The typical cell phone weighs four or five ounces but after a day without my phone, I felt weightless. After two days I could talk to my husband without furtive glances at my phone. After three days, I didn’t miss playing Words with Friends.
Is this what life is supposed to feel like? I swore when I got my phone back, it wouldn’t control me anymore.
Then I got my phone back.
I listened to all the podcasts, played all the games, bought everything on Amazon and beat my family at Words with Friends. I ignored my husband, tuned out the world in general and scrolled endlessly through social media platforms.
The lesson here should be turn off your phone and interact with the real world. But what I learned was I need to buy cargo pants with dozens of secure pockets so my phone will never fall into the toilet again.
Originally published in the Davis Journal