My iPhone was stolen Tuesday night. The details are not important nor are they very interesting. Instead I want to focus on what happened after the fact. The story branches off in several directions follow along part by part:
Part 1: Did you use Find My Phone?
Whenever I tell someone that my phone is stolen I always get the same response without fail. “Did you use the find my phone feature?”
Let me be clear on one point, my phone was not lost, forgotten, or misplaced. It was taken from me. So finding my phone wouldn’t really do any good. Let’s say I used the feature and then located the phone via GPS…then what? Get a bunch of angry baseball bat wielding lesbians to hunt the guy down? Call the police? I doubt a stolen iPhone is at the top of their priority list. It’s gone. I happen to be chatting with a gent on Growlr who recognized me from being at J Crew the night before. I told him I was there to get a new phone case and he asked if the new case was the one featured in my profile pic. (My profile pic is a mirror shot taken with my old phone and case) I informed him that sadly no, that phone and case was stolen. This got him all worked up, and in an effort to help he went on a diatribe, “Did you use Find My Phone to locate it? You know it can play a sound or even take a picture so you know where it is or who has it.” On and on he went. I was already tired of dealing with the situation and wasn’t in the mood to rehash all the detail to a Growlr stranger. I tried to be concise and to the point. “Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately my phone is gone. A lot of people have much bigger problems so I’ll just move on. No serious harm done.” That’s how I feel about the whole ordeal. It sucked and I was angry and upset when it happened. However, I can look at the big picture and realize it’s a small drop in the bucket. I was not harmed and if I had to choose between my wallet and my phone, I’d rather have my phone be taken. Oh and to answer your other question, no I did not have insurance on my phone. The best way to sum up the event is #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS
Part 2: What to do when your phone is stolen
Yes it’s true; there is a find your phone feature on the iPhone that can help with misplaced devices within your home. Through the iCloud website you can make your phone or tablet make noise even if it’s on silent. As I said, this feature was of little use to me with my situation. Instead I used another very helpful feature. Through the same site, I was able to wipe out my phone remotely. Basically the next time someone went to use my phone, Apple would automatically wipe out all of my information. That was re-assuring. Next I went online and suspended my service through AT&T and changed my Facebook and email passwords. I tried to change any passwords that were saved as defaults on my phone. I didn’t need some cholo reeking havoc on my friends list. Now that I felt safe that my identity wasn’t stolen, there was still the small matter of not having a phone. I don’t have a land line phone at my apt so there was no way to call and notify people. Facebook messaging came in handy as I typed calls for help.
Part 3: A Little Help from my friends
I was very lucky that my Texas cowboy had just upgraded to the iPhone 5 because he was kind enough to give me his old iPhone 4. Thank god because I checked and I was not eligible for an upgrade until June of 2013 meaning I would’ve had to pay full price. Yikes! On a random side note: When I reloaded the new phone it brought back my pictures, settings, and apps as promised. The bizarre thing is that is brought back everything as of mid September. So for example, I lost every picture I’ve taken in the last 2 months. Not a huge loss, just strange. But back to our story, when it first happened I felt violated. I also felt like a naive out-of-towner who was bitch slapped by the big city. I definitely admit I was a bit to comfortable and thought this type of thing wouldn’t happen to me. In a moment of fear and panic I retreated to Irving to spend the night at the cowboy’s apartment. He gave me a big hug and withheld any judgment. As I look back on it, the non judgment was huge. I’ve talked at length before about people reacting badly in tense situations (See ‘Stick and Stones Can Break My Bones’ from Sept 30th) and how one poor reaction can taint my feelings toward them. Had it been a test, he would have passed with flying colors. He was supportive, calm, and helped get my mind off of the evening’s events. I also felt much better having someone to sleep next to that night.
Part 4: I’m a pessimistic optimist
The night it happened I was shaken, embarrassed, and upset. Since then I’ve tried to have a very Zen approach to the whole incident and put it into perspective. Like I said, there are people in the world with real problems and my one little phone doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things. Hunger, disease, catastrophe… those are problems. I always try and think It could have been worse. Until now I never thought of myself as an optimist. In fact I think I tend to expect the worst in many situations. However when the worst happens, I’ve noticed I usually try and find the the positive spin. The Oprah way out of things. By that I mean, the Oprah lesson that this minor upset is a lesson in disguise and use it as a chance to grow. I guess the lesson is perspective. Your troubles are only as great as you think they are. Plus it helps to have supportive friends that will lend a helping hand. (or phone)