It happened in a jazz club: I was taking my phone out of my purse when it slipped from my hand and landed face down on the floor. I wasn’t even worried—by that point, I’d dropped this particular piece of technology on almost every surface imaginable, including once down a grate in New York City, and it was perfectly intact. Imagine my horror when I turned over my device and saw the screen all warbled, the glass shattered.
I spent the rest of the weekend picking shards of glass out of my fingertips as I delicately scrolled over the screen to access necessary apps before my fix-it guy opened up his shop on Monday morning. I showed up so early that he wasn’t even open yet, but I was that eager to have it fixed, couldn’t stand looking like some young punk or, worse, like my boss, who had a piece of packing tape over her shattered screen for months before having it replaced. You are a professional, I thought, get your phone fixed. Would you go into a meeting with holes in your shoes, with half your head shaved? Of course not. At this point, your phone is basically an extension of yourself, and it’s a reflection of the way you conduct business and manage your money. Statistics show that you touch this device more than fifty times a day—what else on earth do you touch that often?
The team at Cinch agrees: they took a survey about Money Temptations, and fixing their phone screens was by far the most admitted-to financial impulse, specifically among males, and those both under 25 and over 50. People of almost every age group admitted, “OMG yes. I am way too old and sophisticated to be walking around with bleeding fingers and a cracked screen. I am an adult.” This is a tool of the trade, they said, not just a matter of the tacky and occasionally dangerous glass-smash that can make a poor impression.
When I went to upgrade my phone last year, I remember saying that I wanted the iPhone in a specific color, which was not in stock in their store. “That’s fine,” I remember saying. “This thing is going to be like my best friend for at least two years, so I’m happy to wait a few days.” The people working seemed pretty shocked, or perhaps they felt kind of sorry for me for not having more friends, but to me it was a no-brainer. I’m going to spend more time with this phone than I do with my own mom. It’s going to be the instrument through which I conduct business, actively communicate with the world: it’s worth having the one you want, and it’s certainly worth replacing when it gets busted.
While Millennials seem to have kept their standards pretty low in other aspects of their lives, like their housing situations, asking for raises, expecting benefits, they aren’t going to stand for a phone that’s cracked: it’s just so 2007, and you’re not about that life. (You remember how delicate these screens used to be, those early iPhones would crack if you just looked at them too intently).
Still, I don’t recommend checking your phone while you’re out at a jazz bar: first of all, it’s great to unplug sometimes and just enjoy the live music and the moment, forget your phone, and leave the iWorld behind. More importantly, you’ll be out at least a hundred and fifty bucks in the time it takes for gravity to smash your phone, face down.