Imagine this scenario: you drop or misplace your phone and despite re-tracing your steps repeatedly, you cannot find it. You’re home alone for the weekend. And, as icing on the cake, you made the “smart” move some time ago to get rid of your land line. Totally phoneless!
This happened to me yesterday after work and for three hours I panicked, feeling isolated and cut off. I couldn’t pick up a phone to dial my cell and hope that a good Samaritan would pick up and tell me where it is. I couldn’t call a friend and ask them to help. Talk about feeling like a little lost soul; I was E.T. the Extraterrestrial longing to phone home! Literally, my only link to the outside world was social media. But what a link it is.
I thought about using Twitter for the immediacy factor, but I don’t truly know everyone who follows me on Twitter. So instead, I posted about my dilemma to Facebook, where I still don’t know everyone personally but I definitely know the lion’s share of my network. My desperate status update read:
I either misplaced or dropped my cell phone right at the end of the day. Not cool – especially since we got rid of our home phone. Feeling very isolated!
Anxiously, I waited to see who might respond. Several people did right away, and they seemed sympathetic enough for me to quickly post my cell phone # and ask if anyone would consider calling it to see who answered. Ultimately, I believe in the innate goodness of people – I hoped that if someone in my social network could connect with the phone-finder, we’d be able to work something out.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened! Jim, the husband of a friend I haven’t seen in years, called my cell and asked the person who answered where and who he was. Jim, also communicating with me in real-time through Facebook Chat, then let the phone-finder know that I’d be coming by within 15 minutes to pick up my phone. It was that easy! I raced over to Easton Town Center, where I work. Turns out I dropped the phone on the stairwell without noticing, and it was picked up immediately by a member of the cleaning crew – that’s why I didn’t see it when I desperately re-traced my steps.
When I got back to my office building after 8 p.m. that night, I found the gentleman who had my phone without too much trouble. He’s an older guy I see most evenings but I’ve never appreciated him more than I did last night. I thanked him profusely as he handed me the phone. He sheepishly admitted that he thought about keeping it, saying “it’s nicer than my phone, plus you have really great ringtones!” I asked if he would mind me giving him $20 to thank him, and his face lit up. Then we hugged each other and I had the feeling I’d made his night just as he had made mine.
So many lessons for me here. For one, keep that forgetful, ditsy “pregnancy brain” in check by securing all valuables before rushing out of the office. For another, cherish and treasure the cleaning crew at the office, because they are very likely the first people who will find something if you lose it. Third, keep believing in the innate goodness of people and the universe because the more I trust in that, the more I’m blessed beyond measure. And fourth – social media rocks! Take good care of your network and they’ll take care of you.
Social media really can save you if you let it – sometimes all you have to do is ask the right question.
So what about you – what would you do if you lost your phone? Any good stories to share about the power of social media or the innate goodness of people?
Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews
If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my blog via RSS feed or email.