Last September, my cell phone broke. It just stopped working. One minute I was using it, and the next minute, nothing. I was heartbroken. I had to drop everything I was doing and locate a store that had my phone so I could replace it immediately.
Now, here I am six months later and I can't put my phone down. I actually told my girlfriends last week that Facebook was running AND ruining my life. It's not really. But since going full throttle with my business this year, I am constantly on Facebook and other social media sites, not to mention my own website each and every day. Between networking, managing four different parent groups and all the pages I administer, sometimes it can be very daunting. I still remember when Facebook was a collegiate thing you and your friends had to request to join. But now, it's like checking my email. Every time I hear a notification, I have to check it.
That is until this past Friday. On Friday, everything changed.
Just 72 hours ago, my phone was stolen.
The last time I had it was when I went to pick up my husband from work on Friday evening. The last thing I remember doing was taking photos. Precious memories of my boys playing around as we started our weekend.
When we arrived home, there was a total of 30+ minutes that passed before I realized I hadn't heard my phone go off in a while. I searched and searched with no luck. It wasn't in the house. It wasn't in the car. It must have been at my husband's job. But it wasn't. After hours of searching for it and retracing my steps several times, I had to come to the realization that I dropped it and someone picked it up while my husband was calling it to locate it. Talk about disappointed.
So what did I learn in all of this?
1. Don't underestimate people. I am an optimist and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, the fact that I could loose my phone never even crossed my mind. How can I when it's always in my hand?! Furthermore, someone taking my phone wasn't a thought either. I know that there are some unsavory people in this world, but I just don't fully understand how you can just take something from someone that is so personal and valuable. Maybe they really needed it. Maybe they didn't. I will never know, but I can say that my state of mind has changed due to this incident.
2. Protect my phone. And then protect it some more. Let's put aside the fact that a dishonest person choose to keep and use my phone. I am to blame for not taking the necessary precautions to protect my phone and all of the information that was on it. My phone literally holds my life. From schedules to documents to contacts to business ideas & notes (this is what I'm most upset about loosing), I have almost everything I need at the touch of a button. But now that I have my new phone, I have to press many buttons to even get into my phone because it is locked by pin. I also reset my GPS settings so if anything happens to this one I will be able to locate it immediately. And on top of all of that, I have downloaded not one, but two apps to locate and shut down my device if someone does manage to figure out my pin. Think that's enough?
3. Life happens. I will be honest, I sulked for about a day because I felt a little embarrassed and foolish because I let this happen. Had I not been so lax and protected my phone, this situation may have turned out differently for me. This incident has also made me more aware of how I should protect both my personal and business information. Having everything all in one place means I must be extra careful about how I store and keep business documents and client information. Luckily, those things are always protected. Although I have moved passed this, I still find myself looking for my phone whenever I am at my husband's job, just in case.
Sometimes, I wish we could go back to the days when technology wasn't such a hot commodity and life was simpler. But maybe there is something to what Margaret Heffernan has to say about the cell phone too. I guess life is all one big balancing act. But hey, what can you do? You live and you learn!