I misplace my phone a lot, but it’s usually just a phone call away on my landline, and I can hear it ringing somewhere in the house. That happens more often than I would care to admit. But yesterday, I had a panic attack because I thought I’d lost it in a parking lot, and being the low techie that I am, I had no way of finding it with a GPS. My phone also has a strange habit of going on mute all by itself. So, when I tried to call myself, a message came across that I was unavailable. Yikes! Worse yet, I don’t have one of those messages on my phone that a stranger could use to call me.
I read something by a psychologist who said that the worst thing you can do at that point is to panic. You must, he admonished, take a deep breath and calm yourself down, trying to retrace your steps from when you last remember having smartie with you. I did try that yesterday—for a minute or so—but then I didn’t want to waste time breathing when I might be finding my phone. So, I jumped in the car, went running all over the parking lot and into the grocery store where I’d stopped for lettuce and—no dice.
Most people lament losing their phone because it’s expensive to buy a new one. I wasn’t panicked about the money, so much as three years worth of stuff of my phone. Photos I haven’t backed up on Dropbox. All those messages I want to save. The telephone numbers. The way I’m signed in already to my favorite websites. The apps I’ve downloaded. No, I did not want to start over. It was hard enough for me to figure all of that out on my current phone, much less on a new one. At any rate, I came home with knots in my stomach. And guess what? My husband met me at the door, holding my phone. He had found it in the laundry room. So, the psychologist was correct; if I’d calmed myself down, I would eventually have recalled where I left the phone.
Did you know that 2.5 billion people own smart phones, and the average person loses their phone one time a year? That means that at any given time, someone, somewhere in the world, is having a panic attack over a lost cell phone. So I figured out a low tech way to increase my chances of finding a lost phone. I took one of those return address stickers you get from charities, slapped it on the back of my phone case, and wrote my landline number on it. If a Good Samaritan finds it, he can easily contact me. But if a thief finds it, I’m going to be out of luck, anyway. And the next time I see my grandson, I’ll have him fix my phone up with all that other stuff.