The Other 19%

Yesterday I joined the 19% club by accidentally dropping my phone into the toilet. Good news, it was clean water. Bad news, my phone has no sign of life.

Like everyone else in the club, I ran to the internet seeking advice, remedies, and consolation. I learned that all smartphones have water sensor tabs so the manufacturer can ensure that you aren’t lying to them about your phone “just won’t turn on, I don’t know what happened…”– scenario. My water sensor was red and there was no hiding that my phone has water damage. I contemplated grabbing a flashlight, a magnifying glass, and some whiteout… and doing some Etsy-style craftiness to my phone’s interior. But then I felt like a cheater.

So, I talked to my local IT guy and asked him if he had a mini Philip screw driver so I could begin an emergency surgery procedure. Of course he didn’t. And he thought I was completely nuts for thinking that this request was reasonable.  Whatever. It was worth a try.

In a panic I left work and drove to the nearest store to buy a bag of rice and a box of plastic bags. A completely normal shopping list. In the future if I spot someone with a similar basket, I would know what’s what. And possibly tell them there is hope for a desirable outcome.

As soon as I left the store and got to my car, I performed the voodoo ritual of adding my phone to a bag of rice. According to the internet, every second counts in hopes that a phone would spring back to life after a swim. I prayed to the electronic-gods that my phone would pull through its coma over the next 24 (critical) hours.

I arrived back at my desk  and placed my comatose phone next to me. That way I could continue monitoring its condition under layers of rice. I felt relieved, unburdened, hopeful, and impatient. But then I became uber productive. And attentive. And almost sociable.

As 4pm rolled around, I was hopeful that traffic wouldn’t suck on my commute home. If it did, what would I do for an hour as I sat on the road with all the other rats? Ugh. The anxieties of not having phone stimulation perplexed me. This could be a creative or really boring commute. And what if Fitz was trying to call me to tell me he would be home late? How would I know if I should walk the PirateGoat without him? I was pensive and liberated. It was kinda nice not having a phone and feeling no responsibility to answer a call, text, or comment.

Dropping my phone in the toilet  gave me a 48hr vacation of distant communication. This is a good thing, I thought to myself…

Luckily everything went well. Traffic didn’t blow, Fitz got home early and I had one of the best times at the dog park in weeks. I wasn’t focused on counting my steps and calories. Instead, I ran, laughed and talked (mostly with other humans). It was pleasant.

Throughout the evening I kept walking over to see if my phone had a pulse. Iit was kinda nice, in a bittersweet way, when it didn’t respond. I contemplated when the next time would be that I wouldn’t want or need my phone…maybe when I’m on a tropical vacation? But then I worried about the cost of having to repair or replace my water-logged phone right before the holidays. Ugh, the agony!

So there it is. I’m annoyed with myself for being so clumsy and inducing  unnecessary stress. But in the silver-lining, I’m enjoying the vacation and realizing by dependency. I wouldn’t want do it accidentally again… but I’m secretly looking forward to the next time I can voluntarily put my phone away and patiently await the next time to use it.


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