Lost on a roller coaster, waterlogged in a rain storm, dropped in a Frosty and internally fried while using the wrong charger-there are many ways I have ruined my cell phones. I have only once made it to the end of a contract on a phone. When I turned that phone in, the Alltel worker told me that someone recovered a phone after their pig had eaten it and that phone was in better shape than mine. I’m not even kidding. Losing your cell phone can cause a lot of hardships. Having to get back your numbers and mastering the new layout for texting can be tough for anyone. Throughout my many losses, I have noticed a pattern in the journey to a new phone.

Right after you lose your phone, you are trying to recover it no matter what shape it is in. People go into a denial about their phone. Sometimes this denial lasts for a few hours, sometimes a few days. I was so attached to my first phone I air dried it by a fan for almost a week before I finally gave up on it. Someone told me once that their phone may still work because it was “only at the bottom of the pool for 10 minutes.” Ten minutes is fine, but after 11 minutes your phone would be ruined.

Before getting a new phone, you go through a stage where you are without any phone at all. This stage can be brutal on anyone. Instead of texting your friend about a fantasy football trade or what happened the night before, you actually have to pay attention to what is happening in class. Sometimes you feel naked without your phone. Sometimes you reach in your pocket to check your cell phone because it becomes a habit or something your body must do. You also feel like you’re missing out on something important, even though almost all the time you aren’t missing anything at all.

After finally giving up on the old phone, its time to replace it. Sometimes your connection to your old phone is too much to get over at first. My first phone was practically a brick and could be used as a weapon if needed. It also didn’t have a color screen and could hold about 10 text messages at a time. I was about to pay $200 on the Internet for the same phone. After everyone called me crazy, I got a new phone that was 1,000 times better and would take getting an improved phone for granted.

Last week, when I lost my newest phone I had to downgrade to a lesser phone for the first time in my life. My contract was coming up soon and I wanted something to pass the next couple months. So I took whatever phone I could get and went from having a nice flip phone to my sister’s friend’s grandma’s old phone, which had a black screen and five generic ring tones. It was like downgrading from a slick new BMW to your sister’s friend’s grandma’s old mini-van.

Another big step is getting your numbers back. Nearly every day, you get another Facebook group invite named something similar to “I jumped in a pool with my iPhone and need your numbers, suckers!” These help you get about five numbers you actually wanted. There are also some numbers you want to get back, but you don’t want to ask the person because they might be offended. Examples of these range from good friends to your parents. You get the same reaction nearly every time from these people, “I can’t believe you didn’t have my number memorized.” Sorry I don’t memorize everyone’s number.

The final stage in getting a new phone is mastering the new layout and figuring out how to be able to text on the new phone at 200 words per minute. Any speed less than that is unacceptable. My sister, who most of my relatives call “text girl” has become somewhat a master of this art. To achieve her greatness, she had a lot of practice, including one month where she had 10,000 outgoing texts. This is fine, except the fact that she didn’t have unlimited texts and ran up a bill of several hundreds of dollars.

Losing your cell phone for how ridiculous it sounds, is like losing part of yourself. Today people, including myself, need to be constantly entertained. If it’s listening to your iPod on your way to class or texting while waiting at a doctor’s appointment, you have to be entertained at all times. Sometimes you grow dependent on these objects, and when you don’t have them you almost feel lost. Speaking of lost, I can’t wait to see how I lose my next phone. Whether it gets lost in the College Suites lake or somewhere else, it still wouldn’t be as amazing as having your pig eat it and still recovering it.