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Why losing your phone hurts

Phone app on the iPhone home screen
Phone app on the iPhone home screen
John Capurso

If you ask people how they would feel if they lost their smartphone, they'd tell you they would be lost, depressed, in general not know what to do. Many people's reaction is, OMG, when did our lives get so dependent on our phones, what's wrong with these people, get a life. Well, part of the problem is that the question is flawed.

Smartphone is some somewhat of a misnomer. They’re not just phones, they’re communicators, they’re personal digital assistants, they’re information agents, they're our connection to people and the outside world. Our phones are cameras, email devices, GPS/map devices, web browsers, texting devices, social media clients. You can check flights and get boarding passes, bank buy coffee, shop online, check/send email, schedule your calendar and set reminders, play games, watch videos, listen to music, read news/weather/sports, set your DVR, and many other things. Many people don’t even wear a watch any more because their phone has a clock and is always with them. And of course you can make and receive phone calls too. In fact, if you look at your smartphone screen, Phone is just another app among many others. It’s easy to forget that is the primary use of your device.

So take the following steps to secure your phone:

  1. Keep your phone close by, consciously know where it is at all times.
  2. Lock you phone and use a security code to prevent others from accessing your world of information
  3. Use an app like ‘Find My iPhone’ for iOS or ‘Find My Phone’ for Android to remotely locate your phone, lock it and erase it if necessary.
  4. Back up your information and your apps. If you need to get a replacement, all your data and apps will repopulate on the new phone with minimal hassle.
  5. Get a protective case consistent with how rough or careful you are with your phone.

Most of us sign a 2-year contract with our carrier to get the phone for about $200. Replacement cost can set you back $600-$800. That especially hurts. So losing your phone IS a big deal. We have extended our connected life so far beyond the desktop computer, this mobile device has become a part of us. And losing a part of you hurts.

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