Back in December, I made the big switch over to a Fancy Phone. I love my Fancy Phone. It does many Fancy things. Alarms. Music. Giving Errol five different ways to contact me.
I protected it as best I could, cleaning it, buying those protective sheets that keep it from scratching, avoiding storing it places like my pocket, because…what goes into my pockets never comes out whole again.
But then about four months ago I dropped my phone. I mean, I’d dropped my phone before and it was fine. But this time the cement managed to find my phone’s Achilles’ heel and a small web of cracks blossomed across the bottom corner of the phone.
And then because I was not satisfied with having partially destroyed my phone, I dropped it again. This time in my sleep. I am nothing if not efficient.
Still, seeing my screen erupt in cracks was distressing to say the least. But, amazingly enough, the actual functionality of my phone did not seem to be affected. This was good news, because when I called the phone company I was told that it would cost between $150 and $220 to replace the screen. Do you know what I don’t have lying around? An extra $200.
So I decided to try and live with it, at least until I could scrape together enough funds to get it fixed. Of course with this decision I expected that friends, family and nosy strangers would inevitably comment on my poor crippled phone.
What I did NOT expect was the following conversation:
Stranger: Ohhh no, what happened to your phone?
That’s about half the response. The other half though simply perplexes me…
Friend: Ohhhhh, you cracked your screen! That means you have street cred, you know!
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up in a middle class somewhat higher income household. OH, certainly, sometimes we were tight for money, but there was never any doubt that I was a privileged white kid.
I went to University in Guelph, home of happy Scottish people and granolas.
I live in a neighbourhood where the scariest thing that happened was when an inbred squirrel followed me home.
I am tight for money most of the time, but I am not desolate and still have enough money and little enough common sense to spend the extra stuff on Steam sales.
In other words, I am not the type of person that you would associate the words “street cred” with.
That is, apparently, until I cracked my phone.
Yes, it seems that a cracked phone screen is now considered an indication of my badass ways. It means I’m cool and worldly and much like my phone, a survivor.
I wasn’t really aware of this. This is rather exciting news to me. I never thought I was badass! Apparently I was wrong.
This seems to happen to me every few years. I am not a trendy person. I have my games. I have my geek shirts. I have a bare walled apartment because I lack the ability to make interiors pretty much to the sorrow of my mother.
But then some new trend comes along that I accidently become a part of.
First it was the pre-wrinkled clothes. Everyone else thought I was buying into the latest fad. It never occurred to them I might be lazy. In fact, one of the best feelings there is to me is wearing a freshly ironed shirt. But then…effort…
Then there were the pre-torn jeans.
When it comes to clothing, I am a simple person with simple needs: geek t-shirt and jeans. Any other clothing I own comes as a result of having an office job that requires me to look somewhat presentable and the odd day when I just want to feel purdy (or when another girl wants to make me purdy).
But this new trend confounds me more. It confounds me simply because there’s much more at stake. After all, this phone is part of my livelihood. In my comfy first world country, it is essential to my survival.
And yet people have asked me if I’m keeping the screen cracked to look cool. I am not in fact. My phone is still cracked because I don’t have $200. I would actually very much love to have an unblemished screen. Just as I would a freshly ironed shirt every day. Or fancy looking jeans.
It’s also this latest trend that has me shaking my head and wondering what is up with kids these days. And then I feel my 30 years of age and I wonder how long it will be before I’m lamenting the new noise they call music that’s coming out.
Oh wait. I just did that last week. I’m a 60 year old woman on the inside.
Still, if some wayward teenager would like to trade my cracked, smudgy phone for their boring, shiny brand new phone I would be most willing to trade. It comes with street cred and an Asian friend who doesn’t know the meaning of “alone time”.