Invasion of the BlackBerry Snatcher
It’s my fourth day in Delhi and I had been thoroughly enjoying my first experience in India. Terrific food (well I do love a good curry), eventful journeys into the office (yes, I also enjoy ‘white knuckle’ rides at theme parks), and customer service that goes way beyond expectations (the person in the gym would stand next to me offering me sips of water as I did my 10K cycle).
Yes, it had been a memorable experience until a few hours ago when my BlackBerry was stolen. I imagine quite a few of you have lost or had your phone stolen. I went into meltdown. When I first discovered that my phone was not in its trusty place (my pocket), I told myself to stay calm and that it would turn up. The calmness lasted about 30 seconds before I started to become a little anxious. I informed all my colleagues (we were in a bar for an office event) that I couldn’t find my phone and instructed them to check their pockets and the area around where we were sitting. No Phone. People started calling the number. They told me “It’s ringing” as if that would make me feel better! I explained that if it was ringing and we couldn’t hear it, then that was not a good sign.
Anxiety turned to panic and I started to yell at people, threw cushions on the floor, tore open other people’s bags all in a desperate bid to find my phone. It was to no avail. At one point the DJ turned the music off so that we could all quietly listen out for the phone’s ringtone. What really pushed me close to tears was when I suddenly heard my phone ring. Yes, it was my ringtone (at that point forgetting that it was the basic BlackBerry ringtone which most people had!). You guessed it. It wasn’t my phone. The guy even had the cheek to smile when he realised what had happened. After 30 minutes of searching, it was time to give up. My night was ruined and I got in a taxi to take me back to my hotel.
Sitting here now at my hotel desk with my wireless internet connection, I started to wonder if I was overreacting. It’s only a phone, right? WRONG….
In Nick Bilton’s brilliant book, ‘I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works’ he describes phones as having become “almost an extension of ourselves” and he is absolutely right. It’s not just my phone that got stolen; it’s my calendar, my alarm clock, my photos, my social network….
My BlackBerry has replaced so many objects in my life and has become my hub of information and connection to my friends and family. It’s my source of breaking news and has been highly personalized to ME!
I will get my replacement phone in less than 48hrs and I will start building ‘Me’ all over again. Until then I will have to try and survive as I watch enviously at those people staring at their smartphones.
Anyone else feel the same as me about their ‘phone’?