Nomophobia: the fear of being out of mobile contact.
You don’t realize you have nomophobia that bad until you lose your phone. This would be the story of how Neem told a police officer about her love life aka the day that Neem lost her phone.
For once in my life, I was early to class. Thirty minutes early. I thought I was shockingly awake. I sat down outside of class, put my phone down, and then forgot to pick it up when I went to class finally. Apparently, I wasn’t as shockingly awake as I thought I was. As I’m walking out of class, I realize my phone is gone. Good Samaritan Michael walked out of class, and I snatched his phone from him as I asked to borrow it to call my phone (note to self: don’t tell a police officer how you stole someone else’s phone when they’re there to talk about how your phone was stolen). No one answers my phone. Panic sets in.
The Find My iPhone app is shockingly useful if you lose your phone. I kept refreshing it. Obsessively. I could see the person with my phone moving. Then stop moving. Then get in a car and start moving again. Each traffic light that he was stuck at. Each turn he made. It was maddening.
All the while, I’m freaking out in front of my fellow grad students. I keep exclaiming that this is the worst thing ever. They keep reminding me that I posted on my blog yesterday that I had a good life. That, likely, worst things have happened to me. I ignore them for the most part as I refresh the Find My iPhone page. I realize now that I might have a wee bit of a problem with exaggerating (okay, fine, in this case, underexaggerating). At the moment though, my brain was telling me that it was the worst thing ever because my precious, precious phone was gone. It had been over two hours since the person picked it up, and they didn’t answer any of my calls! Surely, it had to be gone forever. It’s weird to realize that your phone means more to you than the $200 you spent on it to buy it in the first place.
Somewhere in there, we called the police and were waiting for them to come to me to talk about it or something. I kept refreshing the page. Someone said that if I kept doing that, I would drain the battery in my phone. That shocked me into thinking that I should only refresh it every minute instead of every ten seconds. Then, I moved it to every two minutes. We watched the person with my phone move back on to campus. There were thoughts that maybe he’s going to the police and returning my phone there because that was the route he was taking. Nope. False hope.
My phone started down the road to pass the building where I was at. I wanted to run outside and stop every car and tell them to return my phone. It had to be one of them! I also realize that I’m a tiny person and no one would take me seriously… So I stayed there and refreshed the page.
The police officer walked in right as I got an email from Good Samaritan Michael who said he had my phone. Turns out, he kept calling and texted it. Since my phone is locked and his phone number wasn’t in my phone, the other person saw his number and called it. Then they met up and gave him the phone. So there are good people in the world!
When we were waiting for Good Samaritan Michael to respond to my emails and figure out where we could meet up, we started talking to the police officer about fake engagement rings and being asked out and other really random personal details. When there’s an awkward silence, I often ask people how they are and make random small talk. Somehow, as the police officers and I wait for Good Samaritan Michael, we started talking about my love life. Things uttered: “so your friends say that their lives are like sitcoms and yours is like a soap opera…” and “I can see how you have an accidental flirting problem.” All in all though, the police officers said that they were having fun and it was a good day.
I realized that it probably wasn’t proper to give a police officer a hug so I decided against that. Good Samaritan Michael didn’t get a hug either because he was smoking. My phone got a hug though. Well, after I sanitized it.
Thank freaking goodness my phone is back. I think I have a small obsession. Just a tiny one. 🙂