What I learnt from dropping my phone down the toilet

On a seemingly pleasant and crisp Saturday morning I was sitting on the toilet, scrolling through my Facebook feed on my iPhone when (of course) my butterfingers let it glide straight into the toilet bowl. In my cheapest attempt to resuscitate it, it has been sitting in an airtight bag of rice. After the initial shock, tears, and muscle memory panic attacks of not having my phone on me, I began to appreciate what little insight I had into life (semi) off the grid (we’re all guilty of never signing out of Facebook on our laptops…)

So here’s what I learnt from dropping my phone down the toilet and having to live without it for a whole five days (queue sarcastic *wow*). Here’s to looking on the bright side of things:

1) I learnt what NOT to do when you drop your phone in water– unfortunately only after doing them all. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of dropping your phone into a volume of water, don’t try and switch it back on or use a hairdryer to dry it. Give it a wipe, put it in some rice and play some soothing music to calm yourself down. 

2) Don’t trust everything you read: Everyone on the internet has an opinion but not everyone knows what they’re talking about (including me). 

3) Phones are material things and material things sometimes break: Now maybe I’m saying this because I’ve had my phone for almost 6 years, but phones are at the end of day, just metal blocks filled with minerals– that yes admittedly, do let us connect with people all across the world at a touch of a button (or screen) –they are not living and breathing things. I’ve heard people refer to their phones as their ‘babies’ and whilst of course we should respect and take care of our belongings, we don’t need to pump imaginary life into it and fabricate strong attachments to it in order to do so. Somehow we’ll manage to survive without them.

4) Some healthy detachment from my phone: Up until now I had considered myself someone who was not addicted to her phone– or maybe I should say less addicted compared to others. I had swept up a decent proportion of my digital footprint deleting snapchat years ago, erasing my instagram, deactivating twitter and stripping down my facebook profile for ‘minimal’ use. What I didn’t realise was how reliant I was on my phone for everything else. It was my alarm clock, my weather forecast, my personal secretary, my scrapbook. I didn’t realise how often my hands reach for my phone until I was in the situations where it couldn’t.

-Waiting in line to be served at a shop? Reach for your phone Keep staring at that wall.

-Waiting outside a café for a friend? Reach for your phone Keep admiring the same streets you walk down daily. 

-Sitting with a group of friends who are all on their phones? Reach for your phone Keep looking at your nails.

-Saw that awkward somebody in the street you don’t want to make eye contact with?Reach for your phone Keep fumbling in your pocket, pretending you actually have a phone. 

5) Learning to trust my body clock: I can’t remember the last time I actually woke up naturally– and I don’t mean to the sound of artificial birds tweeting on my iPhone. I had become so worried that I wouldn’t be able to wake up on time to pray and also for classes but really, all for nothing. I’ve woken up everyday exactly at 6:30 and for once, it wasn’t even a struggle. I really ought to LISTEN to my body more. 

6) The beauty of waking up and hearing your own thoughts: Inevitably, one the first things I do when I wake up is check my Whatsapp messages and Facebook notifications. Even if I don’t open them, just the fact that they pop up on my homescreen make them the first thing I process when (surprise surprise) turning off my alarm and checking the time. I didn’t realise how much reaching for my phone in the morning was preventing me from listening in to my private thoughts: Today is another day. So Sophia, what do you want to achieve today? 

7) Patience IS a virtue: and one that I am most definitely going to have to keep on working on! It took four days for my phone to even show any signs of life but after the first 12 hours of letting sit in rice I was ready to call it a day. I had already been into a phone repair shop to inquire about water damage repairs costs, I had already looked up replacement phones, and already ordered a self-repair kit. Moral of the lesson may be a bit rich coming from me but BE PATIENT. Good things do come to those who wait. 

8) Not everything that’s broken can be fixed: Don’t worry, the rice did it’s job and sucked out most of the moisture– at least from what I can tell from haphazardly opening up the phone’s housing (look at those technical terms I picked up from watching a handful of YouTube videos), but as much as I wish rice was a miracle worker, I know that not all the damage has been repaired. According to science and popular opinion on the internet, even if the rice has absorbed all of the water, the water will have most likely deposited minerals in the phone which overtime will erode the metal elements. Anyway, not to bore you with the details the point is that I learnt that not everything in life that’s broken can or should be fixed (still asking myself if that ‘essential’ £60+ repair really worth it). Relationships have their bumps and scuffs, but it’s almost never possible– and most of the times not even necessary –to repair them to look as good as new. As long as it’s functional that’s all that matters right?

9) LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Just the fact that I could list all these lessons that I learnt from dropping my phone down the toilet proves that as cliché as it may sound, there’s always a bright side to things.

10) And that brings me onto the nice round number of 10. I realised that instead of moaning about what you can’t change to your friends you may as well also channel that ranty energy into something productive, like writing a blog post. Someone is bound to read it. 

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