This weekend, I cracked my phone screen. It tumbled out of my pocket when I was bouncing around, and it hit the pavement. I’ve dropped my phone several times and had no major effect outside of a couple dents, but somehow when I picked up my phone this time, I just knew it was going to be worse. And it was. Spider web cracks stretched across my screen, almost completely obscuring one corner. While I was pretty disappointed, my phone was still operational. Until it wasn’t.
The next day, I went to go take a picture with my phone and found that 95% of my screen was obscured with a white block. I could get into my phone, but I couldn’t see enough to do anything else. And I freaked out. How was I going to be able to text my friends and family? How was I going to set or change my alarm to get up in the morning? How was I going to see my old messages, like from when I first started dating or came to school?
The longer I’m removed from this situation, the more I question how I got to this point. I mean, I was the kid who had a prepaid flip phone in high school and hated being included in group chats because I paid by the text. I lost my phone once in high school, and I was a little bummed, but I didn’t have the same panic I had this time around. After a couple of weeks of looking for it, I just went out and bought another one for 25 bucks.
The phone I just broke was still cheap. I didn’t bother setting up social media, playing music or even downloading apps. I was basically using it for the same functions as my flip phone, except that it has a touch screen instead of keys and has a semi-decent camera. Why, then, did I flip out when I broke it? How had I become so invested in this cheap little thing?
I don’t really have an answer for this question, but I do know that this incident has taught me some important lessons. It taught me the importance of backing up anything I hold dear, whether that be contacts, pictures or messages. More importantly, however, it’s taught me to let go of some of the little things. I was really worried about losing all of my messages, but the more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that I don’t need them in order to remember all the good times I’ve had with my friends. Would it be nice to have those messages? Sure. But I’m realizing that I can’t take them with me- whether I’m just switching phones or leaving this world for good.
There is a happy twist to this story: I woke up the next day and found that I could see my screen again, though still not crystal clear. I’ve been able to get my contacts backed up to my computer, and I’ll be working on screenshotting my most treasured messages. After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do. I’m really hoping that my screen will hold out until I finish this, but if it doesn’t, it’s far from the end of the world. I’ll learn from my mistakes, and rather than worrying about a bunch of texts, I’m going to focus on what’s really important: the loved ones and friends behind those messages.