There are two types of people in this world — people who have suffered from a cracked iPhone screen and those who live in fear of the inevitable. Every time I pull out my phone, people in the later group gasp and look away in horror. (And that’s only a slight exaggeration). Friends and strangers alike need to make sure I know that my phone is broken. And I know I'm not alone. Those who have been in my shoes will probably attest that this behavior is far from abnormal. In fact, I've come to expect it.
Nonetheless, the response is perplexing to me. Like most of you, I spend an inordinate (and occasionally inappropriate) amount of time looking at my phone. Did you think I just didn't notice the giant crack that now prevents me from snapping selfies or FaceTiming with my best friend in New York?
To all of you who feel it is necessary to state the obvious to those of us with cracked screens, it's not. I dropped my phone! It broke! Smartphones, as much as we love them, are fragile and temporary objects. And when mine came tumbling out of my pocket that day outside of D-Structure, fleeting memories of the time we spent together flashed before my eyes.
As if the shame of scratched thumbs and impossible-to-read texts weren't enough, now I've got to deal with the uncomfortable banter. Here are some of the best broken screen responses I've received.
1. Did you throw that thing out of a plane?
Clearly I did not throw my phone out of a plane. Who would do that? This is not Homeland, The Wire, or any other television program where burner phones are casually tossed away. I get nervous when I put my phone too close to the edge of a coffee table. If, for some reason, I did throw my phone out of a plane, I would actually be impressed by the state it's in.
2. Wow look at that screen!
I know. Did you know glass can break? I thought I could just throw this thing around! Man, was I wrong.
3. You should really get that fixed. I know a friend who knows guy.
Thanks for the concern and congrats. It's pretty cool that you're peripherally hooked up with the black market of iPhone repair.
4. Have you checked into your warranty/contract?
Warranty? What's that? Clearly someone irresponsible enough to drop something out of their pocket would never be smart enough to commit to a warranty. As for my contract: Do you think I'd still be risking shards of glass in my thumbs if I was eligible for an upgrade? Speaking of which:
5. You could really hurt yourself.
I'd venture to say I'm more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or even get hit by a car for not being alert while on my phone. Do you think Gizmodo has stats on iPhone injuries due to broken glass? It is actually my hope that if I scroll through my Twitter feed enough times, the spiderwebbed slivers of silicone will smooth into beautiful pearls that I can repurpose into necklaces that I can sell in my Etsy shop.
6. Rad! Iphone 6!
No, it's a -oh...
On the other hand, I can spot those of you unfortunate enough to have found yourselves in my shoes with no problem. Your response looks quite different: eager to commiserate, usually with a sad story of your own, and occasionally with a pat on the back and a silent acknowledgement that you've been there too. So let's hear it. What are the worst responses you've received or witnessed? Or for those of you bold enough to share, what's the worst comment you've made to unfortunate souls like myself?