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I lost my phone. Cue the horror.

I lost my phone at a party. It’s official, I’m 21 again.

My Dad called my friend looking for me when he noticed I wasn’t home by a certain time, nor had I been answering his calls. I was with her and took the call. He lambasted me. I guess that makes me 15 again instead.

How and when my phone went missing is a bit of a mystery. I remember the whole night clearly, and used my Instagram Stories as a clue trail to figure out when I last had it. Detective work is thrilling, but I may have to stick to blogs. If I even re-cap the night and the day I had you would say I’m lying. It involves my friend who also lost her phone that night (we’re winning at life), Amsterdam whatchamacallit Vodka, a call from mystery man Michael from Mt. Lambert, two police station escapades, a 30 second ride in a cop car, a flip phone ringtone fiasco, being ditched for lunch with my cousins, a 40 minute queue at Bmobile for unresolved queries and a whole hoopla of other shit including the rediscovery of Facebook. People still use Facebook! God does not want me to have my phone yet. It’s cool. I’m chilling.

Being sans phone is surprisingly refreshing. After panicking over the thought of someone using my Paypal app and clearing out my bank account/ posting my bumper pics on Pornhub, I started to embrace the idea that this state of limited contact will be my reality for some days. I wiped the device via Google, after it couldn’t be traced. I don’t think I ever set up that tracing feature. When would I ever lose my phone? I’m so responsible. Once my personal information was secure, all I had to worry about is where I would find the funds to get a new shiny smart phone. I did not budget for this.

I stood in line at Bmobile for 40 mins to have my Sim card replaced. I don’t know if you heard, but Bmobile closed down their biggest locations and all hell hath broken loose. God forbid someone actually needs something. They said they can’t replace my SIM until maybe the end of the week. Maybe. This news I got after standing in a line that snaked out the door and all the way to Mario’s in Trincity Mall. Basically, it was a really long line. Everyone’s head was down in their hands, swiping and poking at their phone screens. My head was up. I think it was the first time in years I stood in line with my head up.  I literally had nothing to do. It was me, my thoughts and a warm feeling of “well, wha you go do?” Like a creep, sometimes I would break into a smile. I listened to people in line complain about how the service could be better. How the staff could be more efficient. And all I could do was shrug. Some days you are just going to have to be in a long line. Hey, you’ll survive.

For a while, I felt my phone was taking over my life. I obsessively clear notifications, and I am in several group chats, involving one with 4 new mothers. New mothers talk a lot. They talk a lot about new mother things. That little blue light on my phone is constantly blinking. It haunts me in my sleep. There is Whatsapp. There is Instagram, which not only has likes and comments, but DMs and stories and Lives and notifications about who’s going live and which Facebook friend just joined. There is Facebook, and my Facebook pages. Emails from 3 different addresses, text messages, Skype, Calls; a plethora of ways for people to reach me. And because I forget to respond if I don’t do so immediately, I am ALWAYS on my phone replying. At all hours. My pinkie finger is curved from how I hold it. The nails on my thumbs chip if they grow a couple millimetres. My phone was dictating my life. I sleep with it next to me. I check it as soon as I open my eyes. I’m checking to see if people saw my replies. I’m checking to see if certain people posted anything. I’m on Google asking it everything from what’s the time in Brisbane, to what is the definition of “Fuckboy”. I charge my phone to 100% at least 3 times a day. My charger is my life-line. It’s exhausting.

It is so interesting that on the first day of the year, my phone would go missing. I see it as a message from the universe in some way. I had to wipe it clean. I had to clear all memories of the past year; pictures I fondly return to in the Gallery, as well as meaningless conversations and numbers from people who really aren’t good for me. A cleansing by force. I do feel sad about losing some things, but I feel good too, about this fresh new start. We actually existed before smart phones. When did it become a need to have so many details in storage? I let it go. I’m curious to see who will reach me without the ease of a Whatsapp Voice note while they do other things. No one will be calling with small talk that’s for sure. All contact would probably be important. No emojis. I also feel like I have gotten back a few hours to my day. Without all this time spent reading other people’s convos in group chats, or checking IG comments and it being a random from India saying “Busty Boobs Babes” I feel like I might actually be able to finish this book I started a month ago. I’m on chapter 7 or something. Out of 200.

I can probably keep this up, but judging from my dad’s freak-out over me being 2 hours later than he expected, I guess I need something for him to reach me on. So here I go, 15 years old again, with a pre-paid flip phone that works only sometimes. Happy New Year.

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