I mentioned on Tuesday that I left my iPhone on the LIRR. New sports coat, pockets still sewn shut, phone not in the regular spot, so I somehow must have left it on the seat. Duh.

Through Find My iPhone, I was able to track it to Long Island City train depot, where my train (and phone) sat on track number three for 2 hours. I could have taken a 5 minute subway ride to get it, but LIRR assured me the conductor sweep of the train would find it.

So I sat there, watching my phone sit in the train depot, until suddenly — oh, shit! — I see it head out to Jamaica . . . then Hicksville . . . Farmingdale . . .  Bayshore. Great! My phone is on vacation, taking a week in the Hamptons to relax! Eventually, it stopped on Michael Street in Remsengburg, just west of the West Hampton.

Thankfully, Anna, the honest person who found it, called the number I texted to the phone, and arranged to return it. She is a home nurse practitioner, and was staying out east with a client that whole week. On her way home to Jamaica Queens, she met me in LIRR Plane to the Train terminal, and I was reunited with the phone. (I gave her an appropriate thank you gift).


Here is my interesting takeaway: There are lots of things I love about the phone, but until you spend a week without it, you are unaware as to how dependent you can become on it. Its more than a phone, its a 2nd brain we rely on. Without it, you can feel surprisingly lost. While the iPhone has a definite “Wow” factor, the lack of it creates more of an “Oh, F*&% !” moment.

On one level, simple data is not available: Contact info, phone numbers, calendar. Frustratingly, there is the lack of access to the grid: Simple things like restaurant reviews,  train schedules, and movie listings, that we take for granted when away from a desktop, where not available.

And of course, Twitter.

I got an email from Runkeeper, noting I hadn’t uploaded a run in a week (I wanted to say that’s because I had no phone, but sheet, I hadn’t run since I lost it).

This whole week, I have felt out of sorts without the phone. Now that its backed, unlocked, and fully recharged, I feel myself again.

If you’ll excuse me, Runkeeper wants to go out for a quick jaunt — better go before it gets too hot  . . .

Category: Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

20 Responses to ““Wow” versus “Oh, F*&% !””

  1. DiggidyDan says:

    Probably not a good idea for a relatively famous, somewhat wealthy, perhaps anamosity provoking interweb celeb/fund advisor to post online publicly where they often go on long jogs alone. . .just sayin! if you ever got kidnapped and TBP went away I don’t know what I would read every day. Agree on the Oh F@©# factor though. After I got my droid I feel like it would be like having a lobotomy if I didn’t have it.

  2. My home address is listed, my office is address is public, I am in public all the time.

    I don’t run the same route every day, but when I go through the park, I go running with a pair 100 pound wolves, who are not to be trifled with.

  3. winstonw says:

    I am always amazed how many smart well resourced people just do not apply their smarts to risk management regarding technology, specifically their time saving smart phones.

    Like computers, it isn’t about the phone, but the utility the phone provides.
    The phone has to be thought of as a dispensible commodity. And the information and its organization as indispensible.

    - all phone storage gets externally backed up regularly. And info backup is useless unless it can be restored successfully. So….
    - you have the same model as a backup phone, that yourself or a technician has actually tested restoring the data to, and confirms works.

    That way, loss or breakage does not disrupt productivity or utility.

  4. Arthur says:

    Who is going to mess with a guy who can run on water?

  5. DiggidyDan says:

    Haha you should get a Honey Badger to jog with. . . you know, in case you encounter any cobras. They just don’t give a F@¢%

  6. MayorQuimby says:

    12 minute mile?! Very impressive.


    BR: This is casual running, but I’ll put up my best times versus your best times whenever you want — 1/2 mi, 1 or 3 miles!

  7. RW says:

    Cognition has always been distributed as Gregory Bateson saw some decades ago but historically it was not distributed as far or widely or though as many agents.

    Donald Norman was right, these things do make us smart, but …

    The next generation of iPhones will come in the form of body grafts.

  8. ruetheday says:

    Just imagine if you upgraded to an Android phone.

  9. franklin411 says:

    Wouldn’t have happened with a Droid. Droids are semi-autonomous and capable of finding their own way home. Remember R2-D2?

  10. b_thunder says:

    Taleb would probably say that the way you use/rely on your phone is not “robust.” Too much reliance on it to work at all times. It can break, get infected with virus, get stolen, or even service may go off.
    My phone is *not* my primary store of important info. I know it seems so 20th century… so “stone age”…
    As far as restaurant reviews and train schedules… did the proliferation of “internet everywhere” elevated thousands of really unimportant pieces of data to the level of critical , almost life-and-death importance???
    Well, not for me. I’m not my smart-phone’s slave.

  11. Not sure Virus is a big deal (yet) with iPhones, but we definitely have become reliant on them more than we realize

  12. MayorQuimby says:

    Actually Barry you’d kille me. I’m a bike rider but can’t run worth a damn.

  13. mertto says:

    When I didn’t have my iPhone for a week, I realized what I really need was a data service rather than a phone service. I’m in a two year contract so I still have time to transition to a pure data service rather than a combination of two. And I believe this will be a trend in consumer in the coming years…

  14. louis says:

    What a great idea for a movie, Ritholtz gets kidnapped by frustrated homeower who lost his hi paying job. They then visit all the crooks, bigwigs, and hilarity in sues. Midnight Run through the trenches of Wall Street.

  15. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    So far I have avoided upgrading from the basic cell phone I currently have, to some manner of smartphone. Why? Because I do not want to become dependent upon a device.

    I already feel withdrawal pains when I visit my family in the middle of Internet-free apple orchards in upstate NY. Within three hours of arriving, I cannot shake the feeling that I am missing something, and I am overwhelmed with the need to communicate with someone online. Anyone.

    If I had a smartphone and lost it, I’d probably implode…..

  16. uzer says:

    somehow i still make due with my $15.75/month net10 w375 motorola phone — it makes/receives phone calls and sends/receives text messages too!

    and if i have my kindle 2 with me, i can do basic web browsing at no cost (google searching mainly) but also online banking with my credit union to do a transfer so i can make an atm withdrawal (at no cost).

    i don’t pay bank (ie credit union) fees or interest (other than the !@#$%^& mortgage) — the point? all this helps keep my monthly costs under a paycheck/month

  17. LoriInNC says:

    “This whole week, I have felt out of sorts without the phone. Now that its backed, unlocked, and fully recharged, I feel myself again.”

    Please, re-read that sentence again that you wrote. Frankly, is that not kind of sad that we need some sort of inanimate digital object to make our lives feel complete?

    I went on vacation for two weeks and turned my phone off completely. I had no issues with that and found it quite relaxing.

  18. [...] Barry finds his phone.  (TBP) [...]

  19. fatelephant says:

    Runkeeper? I refuse to believe that you run. Sorry.