...turns out, iPhones can't swim
The following is based on actual events that happened in the past week of my life.
I ruined my iPhone.
That's about it.
Long story short, my phone took a swim for a few hours during a rainy outdoor event on Sept. 11 and while I fished it out and hoped for the best, I would later learn I was pulling it from its own watery grave.
I was hopeful because it was on when I retrieved it, but it started flatlining - restarting itself, the screen turned blue, then some Swahili appeared, then the screen turned solid red.
I was able to power it off finally and I followed the standard "OMG, I dropped my phone in water" protocol and stuck it in a bag of rice, hit the hay, and dreamt it would be fine the moment I woke up.
I used to be blonde, remember?
I'm not anymore, nor am I naturally, but a blonde moment presented itself when I realized I put it in the bag of rice with the case still on, trapping all the water inside.
Genius, Jenna. Genius.
But, I didn't give up hope. I laughed at an emergency "I got my cellphone wet" kit at the dollar store a few days prior, now, I found myself buying it. This thing seemed legit. For $1, surely this would be the cure.
I've given up hope on a resurrection.
And I've actually survived this past week.
I didn't always have an iPhone. There was a time when all I had was a landline that was shared between four members of my family. When the phone was occupied, I didn't have to resort to sending carrier pigeons to relay messages to my friends. Life went on.
When I was in school, we would pass notes - the original text messages - to communicate; I didn't even have an email address, a cell phone nor did I know what the Internet really was.
As I recall, I still had friends and talked to boys and stayed in touch with my parents and everything was fine.
Now, due to the overwhelming demand for immediacy and a constant stream of information in the world, I found myself in a panic Thursday without my iPhone.
It's my alarm clock, my radio for my car, my mp3 player for the gym, my Facebook-checking machine, my camera, my voice recorder, my GPS, my calendar, where I get my weather forecast, my gateway to the Internet and foremost, my sole means of communication with those I choose to correspond with (aside from my computer).
How did this thing become my right arm?
Nevertheless, one of my best pals gave me and old phone with a slide-out keyboard and actual buttons and I learned that I'm not really good at going in reverse when it comes to technology.
I could barely figure out how to work the thing, but it's serving its purpose - kind of, I have been having issues with texts not going through or coming in.
But I lasted a whole week without an iPhone and it kind of put me in my place and gave me perspective on the overload of information I allow to flood myself with at the touch of a screen.
I stated in a previous article "my iPhone is the most useful and useless thing I've ever laid my hands on" and I stand by that statement.
I also stated in that article I would be making an effort to put the phone down and get outside and get things done instead of staring at the tiny screen.
Well, that was apparently a lie. Whether it's because of my empty promise or because I deleted Candy Crush from my phone the day before it died and that game is the work of the devil, for some reason, since I didn't put my phone down, life put it down for me.
You can't even imagine the things I got done this week.
My patio is in perfect order. My house is spotless - which is pretty normal, but it's extra spotless now. I decorated for Halloween. I helped my mom with a physically demanding landscaping project. I took all my recycling, and my parents' recycling, to the center in Elysburg.
I got tons of stuff done.
The only real inconveniences were shoddy messaging issues, not having anyone's phone number - I know they are all online in my Verizon account but there is no way I was plugging all of them in - slo-mo texting skills and no music to motivate me at the gym.
My life didn't fall apart.
I didn't cower alone in a corner for seven days, cut off from the outside world.
Everything was just fine.
I just hate how much I rely on technology.
There's a song by John Prine called "Spanish Pipedream" and the chorus advises you to:
"Blow up your TV,
Throw away your paper,
Move to the country,
Build you a home.
Plant a little garden,
Eat a lot of peaches,
Try an' find Jesus on your own."
Now, with the exception of throwing away the paper, because that's just silly, it's not bad advice, and doesn't sound one bit like so bad of a life to live.
Being unplugged was liberating - like being out in the woods and realizing you don't need a TV, computer and electricity to have a good time.
I feel reset; I'm almost glad it happened.
But who am I kidding? I'm going to get a new iPhone tomorrow.
I now know I can live without it, but this Samsung Envoy and I just aren't hitting it off. I miss a lot of the conveniences of having an iPhone, so that's just the way it's going to go down.
I'm sure I'll play with it like a new toy at Christmastime, but I hope to use hindsight to focus on how much more productive I am when I'm not attached to it. I also thank God for the lesson that as long as there is air in my lungs and a beat in my heart and my loved ones have the same as well, being without a iPhone is the very last thing to worry about.
Now, what kind of case should I get for my 5s? I'm thinking a lifeproof one.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)