Toilet Troubles: 3 Lessons Learned from a Dropped Phone


For many of us, it’s downright scary to lose your cellphone, let alone drop it in water.

How about toilet water? Yes, the thought of accidentally dropping your phone in the toilet petrifies me, and maybe you too.

It happened to a friend of mine recently. She was using a public bathroom and her phone tumbled out of her back jean pocket straight into the toilet. Gross, yuck, disgusting … but it’s your darn phone!! In that icky heart-stopping moment before she did her business, she rolled up her sleeve and dove in to retrieve it only to realize it was dead.

Now, some of the newer cellphones claim to be waterproof. My friend’s phone clearly wasn’t and she had to buy a new one, an unexpected expense resulting from this mishap. Can you imagine the sheer inconvenience and frustration of losing the object that holds the key to how we navigate through the world each day?

It took my friend a few days for the shock and frustration to wear off, and then she shared these life lessons with me:

Lesson 1: Impermanence and Letting Go

Your phone, often an extension of your life, is like a symbol of our attachment to material possessions. When it takes a dive, you’re forced to confront the transient nature of things. Just as your phone is replaceable, so are the material possessions we cling to. Letting go, whether it’s a soaked smartphone or the attachment to other things, can lead to a sense of liberation. It’s a reminder that true happiness and contentment lie beyond the things we have.

Lesson 2: Resilience and Adaptability

My friend could’ve whined and complained to everyone about what happened to her phone. But she didn’t have time to do this or the means (her phone wasn’t working, right?!). She was forced to adapt fast and get on with buying a replacement. This incident taught her how to bounce back and quickly move on, while making a mental note to learn from the experience (note to self: don’t ever keep your phone in your back jean pocket!).

Lesson 3: Prioritizing Presence Over Distraction

It took my friend a couple of days to get a new phone and restore its contents. During this time, she noticed how often she was reaching for it out of habit, not necessity. She became aware of how much time she was spending on her device and how it really distracted her from the present moment.

So, the moral of this story is to not to keep your cellphone in your jeans if you’re in a public washroom.

Seriously speaking, the overall message is simply this: just notice how attached you are to your phone and the little ways in which you can put it aside today, even for a few minutes and simply be in the present moment.

Life’s lessons have a way of popping up in the most unexpected places, like the depths of a toilet bowl.

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