Dear thieves: Take my wallet, not my phone

Hey person about to forcibly take my valuable goods through threat of harm,

I have a very important request for you. I’m asking this nicely, in a public forum so that my wishes on this topic are a matter of record.

Take my wallet if you must. But please don’t take my smartphone.

Look, I always knew there was a chance I’d get mixed up in one of these things. Instances of robbery have been on the rise the last few years in most sections of America. According to the latest statistics provided by the FBI (which admittedly are about a year old at this point), robbery has risen by up to five-percent in some regions.

So if you have to take something, let it be my wallet. You might be able to get something off of what’s inside, but I don’t carry any essentials in my wallet anymore. My smartphone, on the other hand, has become so intrinsic to my life, that taking it would effectively cripple me.

I don’t really carry a lot of money on me these days.

Cash feels rather redundant, though I do keep a small stash around in case of emergencies — like late-night runs to McDonald’s during a gaming binge. You know, desperate times. But there doesn’t seem to be as much of a point carrying large amounts of cash on my person.

I can handle lots of transactions digitally, thanks to apps. It’s getting to the point where I can even roll up to the McDonald’s and hold my phone out in lieu of cash.

I don’t really care if you take my credit card — it’s got a relatively low limit anyway, and I can always cancel the charges online. As for my debit card, yeah that’d sting, but I’ve disputed fraudulent charges before. And goodness knows I’ve long since stopped keeping a checkbook on me.

In fact, I barely carry paper of any kind.

Back in the day, I might have asked you to let me take my pictures back. Did you know wallets used to come (and for all I know, still do) with special inserts that let you keep pictures in them? That’s why lots of photo-printing shops have “wallet-sized” options. Last time I had one, all the pictures were of my dogs and cat, because I was too young to know what else to put in there.

Now I can have every photo I’ve ever taken with my phone at my fingertips. I can look at 1,200 candid snapshots of my dog any time I want, so why would I weigh down my purse by keeping that photo fold in my wallet?

The business cards I’ve collected from others and left in my wallet over the last couple of months? I long ago started saving information people gave me on my phone. Even if anyone gives me a physical card, I can immediately take a photo of it and get rid of the card in the appropriate recycling container.

As for my store rewards cards — yeah, good luck with that. I’ve used any points on those cards via apps and websites ages ago. The only reason I carry them into stores these days is for the sake of impulse purchases.

What? Yes, of course I backed up my phone recently.

You’re missing the point. Taking something that’s so personal to me would feel more like a violation than taking anything in my wallet. I mean, that’s still all my information and memories floating around where I can’t keep it any longer.

Besides, I can’t remember exactly when I last backed up my phone, because who remembers to do that on the dot every week? I probably should, but even if I did — that’s potentially a week’s worth of personal messages, game data, and app messages I would rather not lose.

About the only thing I have in there that I’d rather keep than have to replace is my driver’s license. But even that might not be the case for long — some states are considering digital driver’s licences. My insurance cards might also be a little difficult to replace, but I’m sure I could manage given most of my insurance information is available online as well.

In fact, the only thing in my wallet I couldn’t really replace with anything digital is that book of stamps under my Barnes & Noble rewards card. You’re welcome to those.

So, in conclusion, I will gladly drive you to an ATM and hand you a wad of cash if it means you let me keep my phone. If you insist, I will — I’m not a fighter. But I’d really rather you didn’t.


Someone who can’t live without her phone