The 5 stages of phone loss grief

Authored by a NortonLifeLock employee


It’s happened to most of us. That urge to look at your phone has become a part of everyday life. Maybe you are expecting a phone call, or perhaps you want to know how many ‘likes’ that picture of your cat has earned. Maybe it’s just that fix your life needs at that moment that only a smartphone can give you.

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You rummage through your pocket to find it with no luck. Perhaps it’s in the other one. Nope. You try your bag. Nope, again. You break into a sweat.

After what seems like an eternity, you come to the crushing realization that you have lost one of the most valuable material possessions you own. Your bank statements, your pay stubs, your credit cards, your home address, your contacts, your photos, your indiscretions, and most of your social activities are out there now. Potentially in the hands of a faceless person who can chose to do whatever they want to do with it.

Though inanimate, a lost phone can trigger an overwhelming emotional response in its (former) owner. Whether a person likes it or not, they usually end up going through the stages of phone loss grief.

1. Denial

The Norton Mobile Security app is the panic button for those in denial. Ask any woman with a large tote and she will tell you how often this app has led her to find her phone in the bottomless pit of her bag. The anti-theft feature allows you to remotely locate your phone through the web even if the battery is low. We also conduct organic searches. Sofas are notorious for gobbling up phones. So are kids’ toy boxes, kitchen drawers and restroom counters. Keep the search on until you are ready for the next stage.

2. Anger

One doesn’t have to lose a phone to get here but it helps. ‘I wish I had backed up, I wish I had a better security system on my phone, I should have insured my phone.” The list goes on. Instead of beating yourself up, explore the options out there. Having Norton Mobile Security may be the solution you need. It uses the built-in webcam to take a photo of anyone using your Android smartphone or tablet.

3. Bargaining

Groveling, begging, pleading, petitioning. Call it what you want, it may help you a bit. You send texts to yourself requesting the person who finds your phone to call you. Sometimes people offer incentives for other’s honesty. The beacon of desperation goes out on all social media and half the world now knows your condition. The sympathies flow in with suggestions on how to recover from this situation, but there won’t be any respite unless you have the right security system. Norton Mobile Security lets you send a message to your missing Android smartphone that sets off a “scream”. This alarm works even if the phone is turned down, locked or on mute.

4. Depression

If none of the above worked, the sorrow of all that has happened will start to weigh down on you. Here you are, thinking about all those lovely pictures and awesome notes you made in your device. Even though the device was scuffed and needed an upgrade, you miss the customized settings you had made. The phone was an extension of you and now it’s gone. If you had Norton Mobile Security, you can remotely lock your phone. It also allows you to perform a “factory reset” to completely erase your lost/stolen phone. Plus you would have backed up all your data. This way your private information remains private.

5. Acceptance

It’s over. Now it’s time to move on and make new memories with a new device. This time there wont be any old mistakes. The phone will be by your side, backed up and secure with a passcode.

Thankfully, there are options to save you of a lot of trouble. Norton Mobile Security offers a range of services that make your mobile device safe and easy to find. The loss of a phone should not stop you from living your life as you know it. Get your bases covered and upgrade, update, and uplift your digital life.

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Disclaimers and references:
NortonLifeLock Inc. is a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety. We are dedicated to helping secure the devices, identities, online privacy, and home and family needs of more than 50 million consumers, providing them with a trusted ally in a complex digital world.

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