I’m a hazard to my own cell-phone

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Tawna Fenske

Oregon romance writer Believe it or Not
Blog “Don’t pet me, I’m writing”

There are many good reasons I shouldn’t be trusted with an iPhone…Here’s one of the reasons:

It’s the second time I’ve broken an iPhone screen (the first time, you may recall, I handed the phone to my gentleman friend’s ex-wife to show her the broken glass at the precise moment he texted me something filthy to lighten the awkward mood).

So yeah. I broke another iPhone screen. It’s no surprise, considering how frequently I drop the damn thing on concrete, but still. I’m two months shy of the renewal date when I’m eligible for a new phone, so I checked into how much it might cost to have a professional replace the glass. I paid $99 for the phone in the first place, and that’s what I intend to pay for a new one in a couple months, so I couldn’t justify paying the same just to fix the screen.

A pal told me how cheap it is to find replacement kits on eBay and instructional videos on YouTube, and my gentleman friend generously volunteered to tackle the task. I ordered the kit online and presented it to him on Saturday.

He hoped it might be a 20-minute project he could finish quickly before a scheduled outing with a pal. An hour later, he was scowling at the disassembled phone.

“You have to take the entire thing apart before you even get to the screen,” he said. “All these screws are tiny and they’re in there so tight, I end up stripping them.”

I nodded. “The only words I just heard were screws, tight, and stripping.

“You should have been here five minutes ago when the video instructed me to remove the vibrator.”

The phone was still in pieces when we had to meet our friend, so I left the house without it. I wasn’t expecting any urgent calls from my agent or editor, so I figured it was no big deal.

I figured wrong.

Not that anyone needed to reach me in an emergency, but I hadn’t counted on how dependent I’ve become on my phone. I kept reaching into my bag to snap a photo or update my Facebook status or check email, and I’d have a moment of panic when I came up emtpy-handed.

After awhile, I got used to it. Within a few hours, I began to enjoy it. There’s something liberating about being free from the urgent need to chronicle every brew pub I visit or every dirty thought flitting through my mind. There’s a sort of relief in taking a break – even a forced one – from the technology that’s taken over my life.

Which is not to say I’ll intentionally smash my new iPhone screen just to earn myself a day off. But if it happens again (who am I kidding? When it happens again) at least I know I can survive quite nicely without the vibrating gadget constantly in my hand.