Ctrl: Why Can’t I Lose My Phone?

Caio Brighenti, Maroon-News Staff

This weekend I lost my wallet. I was just about to head out and grab a bite to eat when I realized it wasn’t where I usually leave it. I tried to remember last time I’d used it, and see if I could figure out where I might’ve left it, to no avail. After searching just about everywhere, I resorted to the little handy tracking device I have in my wallet, and discovered it was in my backpack.

Earlier in the week I lost my water bottle. I’m actually quite bummed about that one. Sure, it was only $9 at Walmart, but it was the perfect size and a really nice, sleek black color. I followed the same routine as I had when I lost my wallet — where do I usually leave it and when was the last time I used it? This time, without the lifeline of a tracking device, I couldn’t find it. 

A few weeks ago, I lost my notebook, with my notes from the first few weeks of classes. At this point, you’ve probably gotten the pattern down. I didn’t find it either.

The point is, I have a problematic tendency to lose things. I vividly remember a time in high school when I walked past my school’s lost and found and spotted a pair of my own shoes in it. How I hadn’t noticed they were missing, or how I managed to go home shoeless presumably after having worn them to school, beats me. It’s not that I’m ridiculously inattentive, I just tend to lose a lot of things. But, there’s one thing I just can’t lose: my phone.

In my recent streak of losing important things, I realized I can’t remember the last time I lost my phone. I’m sure I did at some point in my storied career of misplacing objects, but if so, it was when I was a teenager in my early high school days.

So what is it about my phone that makes it so hard to lose? I don’t think it’s enough just to say it’s important and that’s why I haven’t lost it, given that I lost my wallet just a few days ago. Rather, I’d say the concept of losing applies to objects, and our phones have somehow transcended that.

There’s evidence for this in my oft-practiced ritual of searching for a lost object. First, I check where I always leave said object. Here’s a question to the reader: where do you leave your phone? I doubt anyone has a certain static spot in their residence where the phone goes. Rather, it goes where we go, and it rests when we rest.

And what of step two — tracing the last time I used it. Let me pose another question to you: can you trace each instance throughout the day where you used your phone? I definitely can’t. Sure, I can roughly recall a time frame where I may have been on it, but using my phone is hardly as remarkable of an experience as pulling out my wallet, and it’s certainly less spatially rooted.

The typical questions I ask myself when I lose an object just simply don’t apply to my phone. It’s a weird conclusion to say that my phone has transcended its status as an object, and has entered the realm of being an extension of myself, but it’s justifiable. How else could I possibly explain my phone’s immunity to my prolific object-losing abilities?

In the same way I could never lose my hands or my feet, my phone is just impossible to lose. Which is great for me — it’s a lot more expensive to replace than a $9 water bottle.

Contact Caio Brighenti at [email protected]