Monday, March 18, 2013

There's nothing buzzing in my pants

There are many good reasons I shouldn't be trusted with an iPhone, and not all of them center around my fondness for sending cleavage shots before double-checking the address of the intended recipient.

Here's one of the reasons:

It's the second time I've broken an iPhone screen (the first time, you may recall, I handed the phone to my gentleman friend's ex-wife to show her the broken glass at the precise moment he texted me something filthy to lighten the awkward mood).

So yeah. I broke another iPhone screen. It's no surprise, considering how frequently I drop the damn thing on concrete, but still. I'm two months shy of the renewal date when I'm eligible for a new phone, so I checked into how much it might cost to have a professional replace the glass. I paid $99 for the phone in the first place, and that's what I intend to pay for a new one in a couple months, so I couldn't justify paying the same just to fix the screen.

A pal told me how cheap it is to find replacement kits on eBay and instructional videos on YouTube, and my gentleman friend generously volunteered to tackle the task. I ordered the kit online and presented it to him on Saturday.

He hoped it might be a 20-minute project he could finish quickly before a scheduled outing with a pal. An hour later, he was scowling at the disassembled phone.

"You have to take the entire thing apart before you even get to the screen," he said. "All these screws are tiny and they're in there so tight, I end up stripping them."

I nodded. "The only words I just heard were screws, tight, and stripping."

"You should have been here five minutes ago when the video instructed me to remove the vibrator."

The phone was still in pieces when we had to meet our friend, so I left the house without it. I wasn't expecting any urgent calls from my agent or editor, so I figured it was no big deal.

I figured wrong.

Not that anyone needed to reach me in an emergency, but I hadn't counted on how dependent I've become on my phone. I kept reaching into my bag to snap a photo or update my Facebook status or check email, and I'd have a moment of panic when I came up emtpy-handed.

After awhile, I got used to it. Within a few hours, I began to enjoy it. There's something liberating about being free from the urgent need to chronicle every brew pub I visit or every dirty thought flitting through my mind. There's a sort of relief in taking a break – even a forced one – from the technology that's taken over my life.

Which is not to say I'll intentionally smash my new iPhone screen just to earn myself a day off. But if it happens again (who am I kidding? When it happens again) at least I know I can survive quite nicely without the vibrating gadget constantly in my hand.

Well, one of them.

Have you ever taken a technology break? What are the pros and cons of taking time off from buzzy little gadgets? Please share!

And please give a round of applause to my gentleman friend for all his hard work. I should probably think of a generous way to reward him. Any ideas?


Neurotic Workaholic said...

I've broken my Blackberry twice, though once it wasn't my fault because it rained and my phone ended up getting soaked (and damaged). It also made me realize how dependent I am on my phone, because I'm always checking my e-mail. You'd think with all the aps and other advances they've made in technology, they'd also make more protective devices or gear for our phones so that we'd be less likely to break them. I've never even been able to find a waterproof case for my phone.

Unknown said...

I would say I've never broken a phone, but that seems like begging Karma to kick my ass - and I would never be so foolish. I do understand that odd panicked feeling of not having your phone alone, which seems beyond stupid. Doesn't stop the panic, just adds in a healthy dose of self-ridicule. ;) As to suggestions on thanking your gentleman friend ... somehow I doubt you really need any.

Here's hoping your new screen lasts until your renewal date.

Chris said...

Otter box makes pretty color cases now. Just saying!!!

Raley Blue said...

I take a tech break every weekend unless I'm traveling or expecting something big. I also shut most things off when the kids and the boyLovey come in the door. We're all a lot happier when I'm focused.

The downside is that I miss things. Some important, some not.

It IS a trade off.

Anonymous said...

A few months ago, my phone stopped working on me, and so I went two months without texting or talking, and honestly after the first week it felt great. I'm sure I missed a few useful texts, but it was really interesting to see how my friends treated me when they couldn't contact me any time they wanted. I'm glad to have a new working phone, but I'm also glad I got to experience life without being constantly available to people.

Anonymous said...

Pros and cons of taking time off from buzzy little gadgets, hm? Well, the added sensitivity is nice, but in terms of stamina you do see -- oh. That's not what you meant?

Dirty humor aside, your blog seems to have lost the Name/Website option on the comments form. Sad!


Misanthropology 101, thanks for pointing that out. I've had a lot of trouble with spammers lately, so I've been tweaking settings. Lemme try messing with a few things. Thanks again!


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Keith said...

Hi, got here from Janet. I broke an iPad screen once. Long story. The anguished shriek woke up my wife. I got a much better case for it, by gumdrop. The iPhone has one of the slim cases they were giving out in the wake of "antenna-gate", and it provides just enough grip for me. Haven't dropped it yet. I don't get much traffic on it, so some days it just sits there. Nice to have considerate friends.