A lot of people seem to have constant issues with their phones, computers, printers, hard drives, and other technology breaking or failing.
None of my technology ever breaks at the rate that I see from other people.
Even though it’s a bit presumptuous, my best guess is that I just treat my electronics better than most people.
Part of it is my background. I didn’t grow up in a rich family. I didn’t have a computer until the sixth grade. With the exception of the occasional Christmas present, I needed to buy all of my technology with my own money, even when I made $4.25/hour stocking shelves at a small grocery store at age 15. In high school, I paid $40/month of my own money for cable internet service. I didn’t have a cellular phone or a laptop until I graduated from college in 2004. Since it was difficult and expensive for me to get these things, I treated them extremely well, and I continue to treat all of my belongings with the same respect today.
I don’t put rubbery cases around my phone or foam sleeves around my laptop because I don’t drop them. I just don’t. I’ve also never spilled a drink on any of my stuff. (Although if I ever did drop my laptop or spill a drink on it, it’s insured, and yours should be, too.)
I’ve never broken or scratched a screen. I’ve always kept PDAs and iPhones in a dedicated pocket with the screen facing inward. The back of my Palm Vx had minor dents from having run into a few table corners, but the screen was perfect — that’s why you should keep your screened devices facing into your leg/butt, not toward the world.
I’ve only ever had two hard drives die, and they were the infamous IBM “Deathstar” 60GXP model that, along with the 75GXP before it, had record-setting failure rates and destroyed IBM’s reputation in the hard-drive business.
After two years of bringing it back and forth to work every day and being heavily used as my only computer, my PowerBook G4 didn’t have a single scuff, scratch, dent, or worn-away area anywhere on it. I never got the keyboard-on-screen imprint because I kept it in a backpack in an arrangement that only put pressure on its bottom, not its screen lid.
Nearly every computer I’ve had hasn’t even suffered from critical component failure before it’s comically obsolete or I stop using it. My sister was using my handed-down 2001 PC for the last few years until something finally prevented it from booting a few months ago.
I’ve never lost my phone. (Or my keys, or my wallet.) Not even temporarily. I always know where it is, because I only ever put it in a handful of spots. Is it in my left-front pocket? No? Then it’s on my desk during the day or my nightstand at night.
When I hear people complaining that their iPhone screen cracked or their aluminum laptop is dented or they left their BlackBerry in a taxi, I can’t help but silently blame them and be glad that I’m more attentive and careful with my belongings.