Dancing my way through Perry’s having a great time, of course, I reach in my back pocket to take a picture on my iPhone 6, when suddenly, I don’t feel anything. Panic mode Nikki went into three stages: 1. hyperventilate because getting your phone stolen has never happened before; 2. attempt to look for it with someone else’s phone flashlight in the middle of a mosh pit at Perry’s; 3. make way out of that mosh pit full of under-the-influence teens (I’m too old for Perry’s -- why, Nikki, why) and immediately call the parental units asking them to track down my phone. In a situation like this, I’m glad my parents made me download that Track My iPhone app. Of course, just my luck, I had put my phone on airplane mode earlier that day to save battery and the plan to track it down fails. If you walked past a brunette, under-five-feet girl having a panic attack near the port-a-potties with a neon yellow camelback, that was me and I’m sorry you had to see that.
After I got off the phone with my parents, I remembered that while I was in the zone of searching for my phone in that mosh pit, I noticed another girl crying and another guy near her with a freaked out look on his face and both informed me that their phones were missing as well. I came to the realization that I was pick-pocketed. This should be no surprise because hundreds of phones and other items get stolen at Lollapalooza every year. I was just shocked it happened to me. The whole situation is not entirely the fault of the stealer -- I shouldn’t have had it in my back pocket in the first place and should’ve kept it in my fanny pack like I did throughout the day. A mix of feelings were going through my mind. Disbelief is one of them, and a sense of being violated, too. I have never felt so violated before. It’s a situation of “why did I do that?,” putting my phone in my back pocket in a crowd full of thousands of wasted strangers and professional pickpockets looking to ruin someone’s day. I wish I could take that moment back, but then again, everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t be writing this article while still phone less five days later.
After my friends calmed me down,thanks, Ali and Allie, they helped me realize how lucky I am. I am alive. I am in one piece. No one was sent to the ER; no one was arrested. There are so many other worst-case scenarios that could have happened but thankfully didn’t. I’m very lucky my money or my GoPro wasn’t stolen (let's be real, I would’ve definitely cried for days if that was stolen). But it was at that moment, after my friends calmed me down, when I realized that I was making such a huge deal out of something that can easily be replaced. A life, cannot.
After Lollapalooza was over, I went through my daily life feeling a bit empty because my phone wasn’t with me. It’s always on me and I’m pretty much always using it. We live in a society nowadays where everybody’s eyes are glued to a screen. I commuted to my job in downtown Chicago every day from my home in the suburbs and I noticed a lot about how involved everyone is with their phones and less concerned with what’s going on around them. It could be a beautiful day outside and all you see are people scrolling through Instagram or taking selfies to post on Instagram rather than just soaking in that day and enjoying life. You really don't know what you got until it's gone and when its gone, you learn more about yourself and how smart phones aren't so important.