The Day I Lost My Life (or My iPhone)


Yesterday I panicked like I haven’t panicked in a long, long time. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember feeling so lost and out of sorts like I did at the Orlando airport. Most of the time,  I’m very decisive. When things don’t go as planned, I usually have a plan B or C ready to deploy. But that was not the case yesterday. As I walked away from the Hertz rental car return into the terminal, I realized that my iPhone was not with me. It took me all of 5 minutes to notice it was missing. But it was too late. A worker had already taken it from the rental car and kept it. Suddenly disbelief, loss and sheer terror joined me as I raced across the airport trying to not to lose my flight since I had already lost my life, uh, I mean, my phone.

The Day I lost my Life or My iPhone

Thankfully I had my iPad with me and I was able to email, Facebook and tweet about appointments I was going to be late for since my flight was delayed. Three hours later, thanks to my Mobile Me subscription, I had a new iPhone complete with my apps and contact information. It was only then I was able to think of anything else. Anything at all.

The panic I felt was real. At one point I thought I’d rather lose my wallet than my cell phone.That’s when I realized that I might have a problem. Could I live without my cell phone even for a day? Of course I could. But boy, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near me during that time. My iPhone is as much a part of me as my gall bladder is, but way more important, I might add.

I have realized that technology is no longer something we use; technology is a part of who we are. Our smart phones carry within themselves the very essence of each one of us: access to our friends, our jobs, phone numbers, text messages, appointments, pictures, movies, banking information, our favorite music and even the recipe for your favorite dish. How can we ever live without it?

What’s the longest you’ve ever been without your cell phone? How did you do?

  • "…technology is no longer something we use; technology is a part of who we are." So True.

    I couldn't imagine life without the digital leash. : )

    What concerns me though in situations like yours (which happens to many) is what happens with the data access for the person who now has your phone? Even is cell service is turned off they can still jack in to your data, access your apps, etc right?

    • I use Mobile Me and I sent a command to wipe the phone remotely. I'm not sure whoever has the phone has turned it on yet, but if they try to access my accounts, mobile me will wipe the phone clean.

      • Wow. That's pretty cool that Mobile Me can do that.

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  • Haydee

    I found 2 lost phones in the past, and returned them.
    Really wish nobody takes ownership of anything that doesn’t belong to them.
    I emphatize with you. Hope you feel better now.

  • Gene

    Glad you were well-prepared and , with the help of Apple®, able to get back on track. However, you don't mention anything about what info the thief may have got hold of and whether he could misappropriate any of it. Hope that's not a concern.

  • I wonder if part of our ritual/blessing of fasting might include a fast from technology.

    • I did a technology fast a couple of years ago. I think it might be time for another one. But after yesterday, I'm scared. 🙂

  • ted squires

    however!!! maybe a day with out phone would and should be nice!! spend time with yourself and family–i think one will find the world is still ok after you come back to phone world–and the world survived without ones thoughts!!

    • Ted, the world might survive without one's thoughts, but not as well. 🙂

  • I would feel the same way if I lost mine. I panic all day at work if I accidentally leave it at home for the day.
    Can that person who stole it activate it since it's registered in your name?

    I feel like there's a Biblical analogy in here somewhere….

  • Every year my family takes a vacation out of the country. A lot of times a cruise.

    For those 7-10 days I do not carry my cell or laptop and completely go off the grid. It is awesome.

    Here is what I have learned fro it. Nothing blows up. Nothing falls apart. There are really no mishaps.

    Plus, I am completely refreshed which makes me stronger.

    • I have been out of the country several times this year. I have an international plan on my phone, my ipad and wifi on my laptop. I need help.

      • Out for business is one thing…if you were out for relaxation and to spend time with family…..well then yes you need help.

  • Andy

    I lost my phone a couple of years ago, in July. For whatever reason, the next couple of days were hectic and I didn’t find (or make) the time to go get a new one. The first day without was a bit strange, reaching for it out of habit to make a quick call, check the time, etc. The next day or so was a little awkward as I adjusted. By the third day, I realized what a blessing it was to NOT be tied to everyone and everything by the constant availability of a phone. I decided then that I was just fine without one and indeed life would go on without it. The next four months were heavenly, pure bliss! My time driving went back to being relaxing down time. My time at work (self employed) was even more relaxed in that the only calls I had to deal with came in on the business phone. I was happy and content as could be without a cell phone. My wife and a couple of my employees, not so much. Them: “When are you gonna get a new phone? We can’t ever get in touch with you!” Me: “I know – isn’t it great!” It was only after regular harassing from them that I relented and got another one – In November! Yes, I had held out for four whole months without a cell phone. It can be done, with relative ease. And it was quite a pleasant experience I might add. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, except for, well, you know – Them!

  • Robert Wright

    I know exactly how you feel… right there with you brother!

    My wife teases me about how I can NEVER be without my phone… it is ALWAYS in my possession. She also gives me grief on my strict rule that none of my young kids can touch it. I always remind her why I set that rule by pulling out her phone to compare to mine. Her iPhone is scratched, dinged, battered, dirty, and has weird hiccups in normal behavior (dropped)… my iPhone is a year older than hers and looks exactly how it looked when I took it out of the box. The comparison usually stops the teasing… at least for awhile.

    Ironically, the handful of times I've accidentally left my phone in the car, I've either missed a crucial phone call or an alert to a problem from our server farm… never fails.

    I completely agree a fast from technology (or better yet… a fast from our busyness) would be a VERY healthy thing…. no matter how painful it might be as well.

    • My kids know better than to touch my iPhone without asking permission. My 16 year old has rebelled against me by not using his cell phone. Sweet. 🙂

  • I am still concerned about the fact that Apple had all the information necessary to load your new phone. Is this something you opted into with the Mobile Me service, or does Apple routinely spy on, er, store its customers' settings?

    Although, seriously, I use Gmail. What Google knows about me is frightening.

    • The idea of Mobile Me is a cloud service much like your banking information. It's supposedly secured and only you can access it. It synchronizes my information among several computers, phones and mobile devices. I only enter the information once and it shares it with all my devices. It's a great tool for me.

  • Im the same way with my Evo, and I've long recognized how profoundly unhealthy it is. This is my first smartphone, and the scariest part is that the dependence set in after only a few days. Being fully connected is like a drug, and being disconnected is like withdrawal.

    I've left it at home a few times and I fear that I've lost it somewhere. A day trip to IKEA was probably the longest went, and it was pretty rough 🙂

    • A day trip to IKEA without a cell phone would drive me to drink. 🙂

  • Saw your desperate tweets yesterday and felt so bad for you. Glad it was resolved quickly. Sorry you lost the phone though.

    I bought an iPhone a year ago and have only left it at home once. While I was at work I kept reaching for it only to grab empty space. Very disappointing. It's never happened since.

    I can survive w/out my wallet or keys, but the iPhone has definitely become an extension of me.

    • Thanks for sharing in the suffering yesterday. It was truly painful.

  • Mike

    I read this summarized from Rick Warren. I put it in the 'wisdom' category.
    – Divert Daily – Know what re-energizes you. If you work with your mind, then relax with your hands. And the opposite holds true.
    – Withdraw Weekly – A Sabbath – not the day to do the honey do list
    – Abandon Annually – Go away without the laptop or cell phone

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  • Izi

    Gypsies stole my iPhone (and the purse it was in) six long weeks ago. Six. LONG. Weeks. As I was in Italy and iPhones cost a bajillion dollars there (800 euro!), I had to wait until back in the States to replace it. ($99 – 3GS-because I’m not eligible for upgrade yet). Did I mention it was six weeks without it? I felt like a junkie coming off crack. Shakes, nightsweats, crankiness… It wasn’t pretty. All is well now. I’m all funky on the junk again. This message sent from my shiny new iPhone. (which now lives in my front pocket… Never to see the inside of a vulnerable purse again anytime soon)

  • Kevin

    when by home to eat lunch and run an errand. Realized i had left my phone in the office and could not wait until after the errand to go back! Sad..

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