My dog ran away yesterday.
Except it was my iPhone and not my dog. And replace “ran away” with “got lost.” Except iPhones are not known to lose themselves. So I’ll tell you that I misplaced it. Actually, I forgot it. But really, I’ll confess I left it somewhere… on a seat… in a shuttle van, which is the shared choice vehicle of both soccer mums and cheap airport parking.
Colin and I were on the tail end of our trip to Sydney, quick three hour plane ride home. I watched the new Snow White twice. We cleared customs (I think anxiety levels would be lower upon international arrival if customs desks were not quite so high, and also if they greeted travellers with Girl Scout cookies). We received our pennant of awesomeness — the passport stamp, claimed our suitcase and made our way to the pick-up zone.
I was excited to be free of recycled air so I skipped merrily outside. I can’t say the same for Colin who is sort of traditional/1950s about the whole idea of men skipping. I, on the other hand, am much more modern about the whole thing. I sat down on one of those dark green metal benches and grabbed my phone from my backpack to search for wifi. I was itching to post to Instagram and check-in, to make sure everyone knows I’m cool and just went to Sydney. It was completely relaxing since Colin was also rubbing my shoulders with fingers of emotional support and love. I was thinking about what we could eat for dinner, maybe we should stop for Thai on the way home.
After ten minutes of patiently waiting for wifi to not connect (which was probably more like two minutes of frustrated waiting since the Millennial in me has a certain expectation that I should be able to microwave all things or at least be able to listen to my Pandora stations in another country), I set my phone on the suitcase. This was an intentional set down because in my brain I thought ‘no, don’t set it on the bench because you might forget it, stupid.’
When our sweet “Fly n Park” ride pulled up, I again skipped towards it. I laughed at Colin along the way who did that really amateur suitcase pulling thing where you take it down a curb but didn’t go straight off so when it lands on the street a few inches lower it spins to the side and falls over like a cow when you tip it. Then I scooted myself into the middle seat like four minutes too early because then an old couple came and had to sit in the third row back. That was probably the moment the Universe decided to avenge my lack of submission (it wouldn’t be the first time).
Fast forward 30 minutes or so because those 30 minutes are pretty boring. Then I’m in the car and I get all filled up with Instagram inspiration again and I twist my arm sideways to try and pull my backpack from the back seat to the front to get to my phone. But there was no phone.
It was a long night after that. The shuttle park people hate us because we called three times and made them search their vans and parking lot twice. I think they are liars because I know I left it in the van. I can’t call the phone because I’m a dummy who still had it on airplane mode. The iPhone 4s in New Zealand is $899. So I’m pretty sure someone took it to cash it in on the internet where the liars go to sell other people’s stuff.
So now I’m depressed because I feel like my dog ran away. Except it’s 3500 photos of my dog. And my dog is actually videos of my nephews from home — Ryder on his new bike and Jax taking his first steps. Also photos of trips to the last six countries I’ve visited where I was not stupid or careless and managed to keep my phone with me the whole time. Also, the world still liked me then.
Now I’m back in the early 2000s where I have to use my iPhone 3 and where I’m physically tethered to my laptop in order to “be social.” Laptops, as an accessory, was so out like six years ago.
I have no doubt I will not learn a valuable lesson from all of this. There’s no room for optimism when I can’t tweet it remotely from a park or a beach or the zoo. I’ve actually written this post in my “Instagram time” of the evening since I’m iPhone-picture-less now.
But if you’re keen to learn a few lessons from my tragedy, read on.
Losing your iPhone: What you need to know because I really care
Since you’ve got all those apps on your phone that are connected to your entire life, you need to change your passwords. If the app developers had a brain when they created your apps, they’d ensure that once you change your password online it auto-logs you out of the apps on your phone asking you to enter your new password when you go to open them back up. Most of your apps should do this. Except the Twitter app because those guys don’t care about analytics or account security. Facebook, Pinterest, iTunes, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tweetdeck, Groupon are all legit apps that will require your iPhone’s new owner to enter your new password to access your accounts.
Before losing your iPhone, make sure 1) you utilise iCloud. I mean it!! Store your stuff there; 2) back up your phone regularly, like your smart husband says, even though it’s a complete pain; 3) “Find my iPhone” is turned on so that you can actually locate your phone if/when you lose it on iCloud, unless you’re me where you’re iCloud looks like this when you try and search for your phone:
Then you have no choice but to be depressed and eat ice cream for breakfast tomorrow. But give it at least 36 hours before you write about it online because you don’t want everyone thinking you’re inexcusably a digitally-dependent melodramatic.
A few lessons on the Cloud: It’s totally awesome. If you have “Find my iPhone” turned on, you can actually go to your iCloud account and trace the location of your phone assuming it has internet connection (unless you’re me again, I’m a total fail example). Then you can even say, please play an annoying sound right now on my phone. And lock it with this passcode I’m about to set. And have a message appear on the screen like “please return this iPhone and I’ll thank you forever!!!” And if you accidentally left your social security number in your Notes, you can erase your phone completely. Brilliant, huh?
The best piece of advice I can offer you: Don’t be careless. Put a psychological leash on your phone before it runs away.
PS: If you’re upgrading to the iPhone5, I’d gladly buy your iPhone 4 or 4S!! Please PLEASE pleaseeee let me know if you or someone you know is doing this. *Upgrading our buying the iPhone 5 in New Zealand is estimated at $1400, so I have to find alternative options since I want to stay married.
PPS: When I first read the draft of the post aloud to Colin he said only one thing to me: Babe, you didn’t include the part about me giving you the shoulder rub. So that part has been added.
PPPS: My real dog is safe at home in Seattle with mum and dad.