Flea lost her iPhone yesterday. At 12 years of age, this is basically the same as being disconnected from life support. What to do?
It was the worst of luck. Flea had missed her bus and decided (as you do) to nip into Caffe Nero for a hot chocolate before the next bus.
Somewhere between paying for her hot chocolate and getting to the bench outside, Flea lost her iPhone. She went back into the cafe, retraced her steps, asked the staff – no iPhone.
Coincidentally at this point, I was at home, checking Flea’s phone location to ensure she had arrived at school. Except the phone was turned off. Weird.
What we think happened is that Flea dropped her iPhone while she was sorting the money for the drink. In a matter of seconds, some enterprising passerby must have picked up the phone, and turned it off.
What to do when your child loses their iPhone
I did all the things you’re supposed to do when your child loses their mobile phone.
First, I made sure it wasn’t connected to Apple Pay (you can do this in your iCloud settings). Then I put the phone into Lost Mode on Phone my iPhone and asked to be notified of the phone’s location once it’s online.
Next, I called the police and reported the phone lost/stolen. I went into the two local mobile phone shops in our small town and asked them to contact me if anyone came in asking to have an iPhone like Flea’s unlocked.
We even went back to Caffe Nero and watched the CCTV to see if we could spot where Flea had dropped her phone, but the footage didn’t quite capture the moment.
What else can you do?
Basically, People Suck
Whoever picked up the phone MUST have seen it was dropped by a child, who was just a couple of metres away. And they deliberately turned it off, knowing this meant it couldn’t be tracked or located.
I think that’s what upsets me most about the whole thing.
Flea’s just upset about the whole thing and spent a lot of the day in tears.
I tell her that it’s fine, although I’m angry, it’s just a thing. Ultimately, I’d rather someone picked up her phone from the floor than mugged her for it. Everyone is safe.
But seriously – WHO does that?
A quick Google yesterday led me to countless forums with people asking how to unlock iPhones that they had “bought from a friend” that were locked, or in ‘lost mode’. Or the phone they were “given by a boyfriend” who couldn’t remember the security code or password.
There was even one lady who found a phone that was in lost mode, but admitted she could use a new iPhone, and wanted to know how to reset it.
If you’re one of these people: you suck.
Yes, Flea was careless to lose her phone, and she will need to use a basic handset until she’s saved up enough money to at least contribute to a new iPhone.
But she needs that phone so she can contact adults for help when she needs it.
Like that time she didn’t realise buses travel in both directions and got on a bus headed in the opposite direction to our house. Or that time the hockey match was cancelled and I wasn’t due to collect her for another three hours.
I also rely on the phone GPS to stop me worrying when she’s travelling independently – so I can see that she’s arrived safely at her destination.