Broken window

Having used mobile phones since the late nineties, I was sad to discover that I was no longer part of a fabled group of human beings. This fabled group being the humans that haven’t actually dropped their phones and damaged the screen in the process. I was proud to be a member of this group. There were no badges, but if there were I would have worn one.

The first smartphone I bought, an iPhone 4, is still in use to this very day by a good friend of mine in Sweden. These days, I’m on my third iPhone and lived damage-free until recently. The only repairs the device had to be taken in for where unexpected battery shut-downs and other Apple warranty issues, none of which where my fault.

This all changed earlier in February. I was about to enter a party hosted by in-laws and while stepping out of the car, my phone fell out of my lap and on the ground. I didn’t even properly realize what was happening. In slow-motion it must have looked nerve-wracking. Me getting out of the car, the phone launched from my lap, and – thanks to gravity – landing with a tiny bounce on the asphalt of the road.

Meanwhile, the movement of my body is still on-going, my brain hasn’t yet registered what has happened. So, my feet are placing themselves on the road too. Except, no, this is not the road, this is something that’s on the road. And it cracks. One of my feet has firmly planted itself on the phone on the road. And of course the phone is face-down on the ground. And of course the case can’t soak up the pressure. And of course the result isn’t pretty to look at.

I only bought – and used – a screen protector once: for my Nintendo Switch. It was tempered glass and it spontaneously cracked one afternoon while the Switch was in its dock. Within 8 months of buying it. So, consider me not a big fan of screen protectors.

I was sad about the state of my phone the rest of the day. And I felt stupid for forgetting my phone was in my lap in the first place. My girlfriend has been walking around with a cracked screen for almost a year now, but I can’t live that way. I need my phone fixed. Call me connected, call me conflicted, call me addicted… A phone is a window to the world, to my foreign friends, to my music and media. I wouldn’t want to look through a broken window for very long.

Thus I went to the Apple Store to get my screen fixed. My regular insurance paid for most of it, no Apple Care or special smartphone insurance needed. The guy said he could see I “took really good care” of my phone. Though that might just be to comfort me, and to make smalltalk. My girlfriend was quick enough to emphasize the idiotic move that was stepping on my fallen phone, just once more for good measure. So my phone is fully functional again. But my pride: my pride is hurt.

Technically I could still belong to that group of people that never damaged their smartphone screens by dropping in it. Because technically I didn’t. I just happened to step on my phone right after. I guess that makes me belong to a whole different group of people. People who feel like an idiot after cracking their phone screen by stepping on it.

Pleased to meet ya.

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