Coming home last night (after an epically long day) I saw one of those slow-motion disasters that happens all too frequently: I watched a women drop her iPhone 5 onto the cold, unyielding surface of a London Underground platform.
It was gut-wrenching and I can still her face screw up into absolute agony. There was a collective gasp from other (usually indifferent) commuters as the phone bounced, making a sickening noise, then sliding towards the precipice of the platform edge.
Really, the gasp was audible. A bit like when a football hits the goalposts, missing the back of the net.
Anyway, she dashed to the edge of the platform to pick up her phone, just as the train was pulling in. If she’d been even a little unsteady on her feet, she could have been over the edge and in front of the train.
She picked up the handset, nursing it in her hands like a downed sparrow and slowly stepped onto the train. A completely (I think) random woman walk ed up to her and put her arm around her to console her. I didn’t get a look at the phone, but judging by the look on her face, it can’t have been in good shape.
And while I feel for her, what really amazed me was the unconscious empathy demonstrated by everyone around her. The gasp, followed by the panicked “where’s my phone” patting of the trouser pockets.
I spent the remaining journey home wondering how I’d handle dropping my iPhone 5 onto a similarly hard surface. It wasn’t a pretty image.
Think of it this way: we’re all walking around with powerful (and expensive) mini-computers in our pockets/handbags. Worth hundreds of pounds/dollars/preciousness, you’d think we’d take better care of them.
Like it says at the top of this page, “taking geek to the next level”.