3 Things I've learned by breaking my phone


About a week ago I’ve visited the gym as usual and took my phone with me. During one of the exercises, I’ve missed the cage hook for the barbel and the barbell fell onto the phone and broke the screen. The screen was 2/3 dead and the reaming 1/3 died in the following hours. I should have probably been sad, mad at my self, mad at the world, the phone manufacturer and what not. But instead, I’ve decided to see what could happen if I try to learn something from it.

1. Bad things happen, be prepared.

My old phone was very good. Even though I dropped it a few times and I suspect that the speaker was damaged somehow, I did not plan to replace the phone any time soon. But then it was damaged beyond repair and as sad as it might sound – a smartphone is a mandatory gadget in our time. It allows you to be online everywhere – be responsive to work and personal life events, authenticates via 2 step authentication at most websites and of course make calls.

A good phone costs a significant amount. And I did not plan to spend that amount right now. I and my fiance just moved into a new apartment, we had to furnish it. We are having a wedding soon followed by a honeymoon. All this requires financial expenses. And if I didn’t have an emergency fund or extra money laying around – I’d probably be in a tight financial situation now.

Bad things happen all the time. And breaking a phone is the least of all. You could get sick. You could lose your job. Someone from your family or friends might need financial help. If we live like there is no tomorrow and we do not save any money aside – when bad things happen, we will be in a bad situation.

And it’s not limited only to financial matters. You must have backup strategies for all emergencies. For example – how you can notify your family members that your phone is dead and you won’t be able to take calls in the following 12-24 hours until you get a new phone? How are you going to authenticate with your email provider without having access to your 2 step authentication codes? How are you gonna pay if you lose your credit card or it gets compromised?

2. A fresh start to break the status quo.

Humans are used to the status quo. It’s hard to make a change when everything is working, even if it’s not working 100% correct. By getting a new phone I had 0 apps installed in it. And I decided to myself that I’m gonna install an app only when I need it. I still haven’t installed Instagram (the only social network app I’ve had previously) and not yet sure I’m gonna install it. I also got rid of much of the apps I never used but was hesitant to delete because “I might need them one day”.

I believe that order is required in all aspects of life and having your phone cluttered with a zillion of apps you never use, contributes to the cultural ADHD we have as a society.

3. It is your fault.

I never broke a phone before. I am relatively careful with my electronics. A chain of events that ended with me not being careful brought this situation on me.

I saw people who miss a bus and the driver won’t let them in on the intersection. I saw how they get furious, how they call the driver bad names. I saw people who drop their phones and blame the entire world that made them drop their phones.

I could have said that this stupid gym does not have a proper place to put phones. I could have blamed the gym. But instead, I blame myself. I blame myself for taking a phone into the gym. I blame myself for not being careful with the barbell and for putting the phone in a “hot zone”.

Responsibility is something that few people have. They tend to blame everyone in their problems, except for them. “No, there is no chance that I’m the problematic one”. Well, guess what – you are responsible for 99% of the things that happen to you. The sooner you understand it, the better for you.

And in case anyone wondering, no I do not advise you to break your phone. I’m just sharing with you a different way to look at problematic situations in life when and after they happen.