The only thing worse than accidentally dropping your smartphone in the sink is the feeling of shame that follows it. Nobody but you, you think, has ever done anything so careless. You dread taking the phone to a cell phone repair shop not only for the inevitable hit on your pocketbook, but also because of the embarrassment of having to explain how the repair need arose. Fortunately, you are absolutely not alone. Every day, repair stores across the country are filled with customers whose dog used their iPhone as a bone, or whose washing machine claimed another Samsung Galaxy S3. In order to illustrate the range of ways that devices can unfortunately end up broken, we reached out to some friends and asked them to tell us about that time they did something to their mobile device that they immediately regretted. Here are a few of their responses (names have been withheld to prevent further embarrassment):
- A Chicago man learned the hard way that texting while walking can have dire consequences. For him, a walk across his college campus spelled disaster for his smartphone when it slipped out of his hand and onto the ground, shattering the screen. Luckily, a cracked iPhone screen is nothing a trusty cell phone repair shop can't handle. The man learned a lesson that day that a college classroom perhaps never teaches you: Walking and texting should, in fact, be mutually exclusive.
- So you dropped your cell phone in the toilet. We'll preface this example by pointing out that, according to a 2011 study, 19 percent of people do it, CNET reported. That's almost one in five individuals. But not all those unlucky enough to do that have the resourcefulness and presence of mind of the San Francisco woman we talked to. As soon as the unfortunate incident happened, she realized she'd have to act fast to salvage her iPhone. And so, after quickly removing it from submersion, she immediately took the case off and thoroughly dried the device. Then she did what any desperate millennial does in a crisis scenario: She went on Google. An adept search engine user, she soon determined that placing her device in a tightly packed Ziploc bag of rice would be the best DIY solution. A quick trip to the corner grocer and some crossed fingers later, she had a perfectly functional phone.
- What happens in Vegas … well, actually, if it happens to your phone, then it has to go home with you. What started as a great trip to Sin City for a bachelorette party ended disastrously. There are myriad ways you can imagine a cell phone breaking in Vegas, but ultimately it was a rather uneventful one that claimed hers: a defective rubber case that ended up melting into the phone. The lesson here: In the gambling capital of the country, don't gamble with the security of your phone. Invest in a robust case that will protect your phone – not be the cause of its destruction.
- Your iPhone can be a wonderful travel companion. With apps for hiking, weather conditions, and general navigation, your smartphone can ensure that your camping trip never goes sour. Unless, of course, you break your smartphone. A San Francisco man got an unexpected lesson in the perils of a rustic life while using his iPhone's flashlight feature to help him build a fire. It was a decision he would come to regret when he lost a grip on the phone and sent it on a collision course with a small rock. The phone's screen was permanently damaged. Not surprisingly, the man's next camp ground was a cell phone repair shop.
- Anger rarely solves any problem, and almost always makes it worse. That was the case with a Chicago man who told us that he hurled his Samsung Galaxy device against the wall when it wouldn't turn on. Shockingly, that did not prove to be a viable solution to the problem.
Believe it or not, the stories don't end here. Check in to Part 2 to learn more about the many ways cell phones can fall victim to human folly.