By Claire Coder
Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 201543cf8538-e157-4546-a511-7f4591c4f881

The warranty is up. The insurance does not cover it. The “find my iPhone” is not set up. The world is ending.

Just two days ago I went through a traumatic experience. I lost my iPhone. It was not a kind of “lost” where I simply placed my phone in a different purse, or dropped it in the depths of my car somewhere. This situation was different.

After coming home to my apartment after an exhausting day of work and then shopping at Target, I realized that I did not have my phone. I was already in the spring cleaning frenzy, so I decided to tear apart the whole house attempting to find the valuable brick that holds all of my information. After 3 hours of cleaning and frantically searching, nothing was showing (other than pathetic dust bunnies.) I Facebook messaged a friend and asked him to call Target for me. Still nothing.

At this point, it was a pure mystery case and I felt like I needed Velma from Scooby Doo to get anything done. I retraced my steps. The last time I had my phone was Sunday evening April 19, after work. I was calling my boyfriend to let him know that I was headed to Target. I do not remember when I used my phone at Target, but I am an avid couponer, so I am sure that I checked it at one point for any deals on Cartwheel (the Target coupon app.) After Target, I came home, and that was it.

It has been exactly 24 hours since I first noticed my phone was missing. Therefore, it has been 24 hours since I last touched my phone… YIKES. So how am I living? Well, in reality, I am not really living, but moreover surviving.

As the founder of Aunt Flow (auntflow.org), part-time waitress, and Zumba instructor, my schedule is ever fluctuating and never solidified. This is why I keep a very organized schedule… only on my phone. Today, April 18, I missed four phone call meetings and two in-person meetings simply because I had no idea what my schedule was. I only know that I missed the events because people have emailed me regarding my absences.

I have yet to find my iPhone and I am dreading purchasing a new one for two reasons: 1. I am sure that right when I purchase a new phone, mine will magically appear. Isn’t that how it always works? 2. iPhone’s are expensive, especially when my plan is not up yet

In the meantime, I am reflecting on what I have learned from this experience. Here are some valuable tips from one phone fanatic to another…

  1. ALWAYS backup your iPhone. This was my biggest mistake. Not only have I lost all of my pictures, but I no longer have anyone’s contact information.
  2. Have a hard copy version of important things. Don’t only store information on one device. (AKA, don’t only save your life calendar on your iPhone)
  3. Life will go on. You will learn to be really crafty when you don’t have Siri or MapQuest guiding your way.

If you would like to contact me… I am accepting emails at claireanett@gmail.com (Clearly not phone calls or texts)


Claire Coder is a college freshman at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Claire was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2015. Learn more about Claire here!

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