Nothing But Net

CRACKED SCREENS!!! Yes, one of the many dangers that plague the human race in this millennium. Some of the others being where to charge and an internet connection. Now this has become so common that I dare say none are immune to it. Unless of course you roll in the big leagues with the likes of MKBHD, Judd (UAvgConsumer), Lou (Unbox Therapy) just to name a few. Walking around with closets and drawers stuffed with high-end smartphones. You get bored of one, simply reach into the storage and pick another. Speaking of which, do you remember in music videos back in the day when artists would throw away their phones to illustrate their frustrations in music videos? They would be like, “<<something something>> why you blowing up my phone?” then fling it across the room without a care of where it would land. Notice how that trend has and gone died off? In this day and age, I dare any artist to try that. That device would not even make it to the ground and would vanish into thin air leaving them open to nude pics scandals among other things. But, that is the dream (for some). To be able to toss expensive stuff away for the flimsiest of reasons and get a replacement almost instantly. As Bobby Axelrod (Billions) says, “What’s the point of having F U money, if you never say F U?”. Well, I am no Bobby Axelrod and I do not have F U money… At least, not yet. However, that has not stopped me from doing some really crazy stuff.

Years back when I had just begun doing coding and app development jobs for commission, I successfully completed a job for a client and got paid. There I was sitting at a bench in the campus student center with friends when suddenly my phone alerted me to a text. It was confirmation that my payment had come through. Thank God for M-Pesa. I glanced at the text then put the phone away playing it cool (Cause I’m a thug) all the while The Pointer Sister’s – I’m So Excited was playing in my mind. Once the excitement had been put in check, I planned to go out and get myself a new phone. Why? Well, one time while meeting a client, she had glanced at my phone, a tiny Samsung Galaxy Pocket GT5310 with a 3.5-inch screen and asked, “That is your phone?”. “Yes”, I replied looking at it with pride. It was after all a gift from my brother. “It is so small. I thought developers were supposed to have big phones.”, she said. Making a face that exemplified concern, disgust and humor. Those words stuck.

Days later after numerous Google searches, window shopping trips and financial planning, I headed out to the store. I walked in like a dangerous man with some money in my pocket glancing straight ahead at the phone section. The POI (Phone of Interest)? A Tecno R7. It was fresh on the market boasting some amazing specs (at that time). 5.5 Inch LCD screen, 16 GB Internal memory with 32 GB micro SD card support (a massive increase from the other phones 4GB internal memory), dual SIM, 2 GB RAM, 13 MP camera… Basically, the thing was a beast. If my Galaxy Pocket was Bruce Banner, then the Tecno R7 was the Hulk in rampage mode.

What followed next was the usual “honeymoon” phase that we all tend to go through when we get our hands on a brand new toy. The extreme care accorded to them. Making sure they are set down properly and even going as far screening those who wish to touch it. And to make matters even better, with all that computing power, I could finally play CPU intense games and run my app projects with ease. It truly was a phone meant for the likes of me. Flash forward to the present and the device is dead. Broken screen, damaged battery and beat up body. So how did it come to this? How did it go from being at the top of the food chain to a hunk of broken glass, plastic and metal?

The year was… You know what, that is not important. Anyway, there I was at the basketball court. Shooting hoops by my lonesome. Ball in one hand, phone in the other. Minute after minute it was the same drill. Shoot, text, repeat. Shoot, text, repeat. Then I got distracted by a rather long text and someone calling my name. I turned around, got the usual pleasantries out of the way with the customary head nod that encompasses a range of info. Seriously, it is quite fun. That simple nod seems to contain, greetings, inquiries about state of health and so much more.

Once that was over and done with I turned back to the basket. I typed out my reply, hit send and shot my phone at the basket. While it sailed through the air, I turned to the other hand ready to check for a text and type out a reply only to find I was still holding the ball.

<<Freeze Frame>> It was at this moment that Kevin knew…. He F’d Up.

The phone came crashing to the ground screen first and lay there flat. Did not even bounce. Stunned, I just stood there taking in the scene. Finally, I walked to it and picked it up. Sure enough, the screen was gone. Well, it was still operational but only held in place by that flimsy paper that comes with the phone when it is fresh out of the box. “Crap”, I thought. “Now I will have to get a new phone”. That was easier said than done. Funds were not exactly falling out of the sky so I would have to contend with the scarred monstrosity before me for quite some time. As I walked off the court, I paused for a moment and looked back at the basket seeing a rather humorous silver lining. The phone was broken, but it had gone through the basket with a swish. “Nothing but net”, I whispered.