Disoriented, dehydrated, and, in his own words, “lucky to be alive,” local hipster Odin Williams endured more than three hours without his smartphone yesterday.
Williams, 24, was rushed to the emergency room at Touro Infirmary after a passer-by found him delirious and squatting in the middle of the sidewalk on Magazine Street.
“I thought he was homeless,” Metairie resident Laya Min said, “so I gave him a dollar. He kept looking at me, rubbing sticks together, and waving his darkened phone at me — that’s when I knew he needed medical attention. So I fired up my UBER app and got him a ride to Touro.”
Once at Touro, the trauma team immediately began treating Williams for a condition that according to research can be completely debilitating, especially for a hipster.
“It’s called Nomophobia and, sadly, it’s on the rise,” said Dr. Hal Phillips, the ER physician on duty that day.
According to Scientific America, “nomophobia” is (1) the feelings of anxiety or distress that some people experience when not having their phone (“I don’t know where my phone is!), and (2) the degree to which we depend on phones to complete basic tasks and to fulfill important needs such as learning, safety and staying connected to information and to others (“I’ll just get my phone to help me”).
The trauma team administered 236 ccs of a single origin natural process Ethiopian coffee with fruity overtones to Williams and plugged his phone into a high-speed charging station.
“After a few minutes, his phone began to light up. We literally could see the life going back into both of them,” Dr. Phillips said. “Moments later he tagged us on an Instagram post that gave his name, phone number, and Tumblr address.”
Once both fully charged, Williams took his iPhone and immediately published a Facebook page about his harrowing incident:
“I just had posted a pic on Instagram of my vegan burger at the Equestrian Motel When. My. Phone. Literally. Died. In. My. Hands. It was fully charged but then it wasn’t! I couldn’t access Twitter to DM the restaurant to say that we were in trouble. I didn’t know what to do. I was alone and stranded. I wandered up Magazine as far as Washington but it was like I was the last gender-neutral man on the planet. I even tried to restart my phone but nothing happened.”
Stranded without Apple Pay, Williams was unable to get anything to eat or drink and missed his daily afternoon tea and gluten-free croissant. He began feeling faint from dehydration, hunger, and the lack of wi-fi. That’s when despair set in.
“I held the corpse of my phone up to several people to get their attention, I waived my beanie, and I wrote the hashtag #helpmeimdying on the side of a Starbuck’s cup I found but no one looked up from their phones. My best friend just died in my hands and I couldn’t do a single thing about it. I felt so isolated and alone.”
Williams said he tried to calm himself by rubbing his Lokai water bracelet‘s beads in non-denominational meditation but felt hopeless. With his phone dead, sundial watch unusable, and no idea what time it was, he figured he would have to wait until morning for rescue.
“I’ve seen every ‘Survivor’ episode on HULU and played ‘Oregon Trail’ as a kid, so I know how to survive in the wild. And the first thing you need to do is start a fire.”
Not having a lighter or matches in his satchel, Williams got two branches off an oleander bush, sat down on the sidewalk, and began rubbing the two sticks together.
“That’s when this lady finally noticed me. I tried to show her my dead phone hoping she had a power cord so maybe we could text or something, but she gave me a dollar and called Uber instead. I was saved! Yay me!”
Dr. Phillips said Williams was a bit dehydrated and stressed from the ordeal, and he did lose his beanie, but, otherwise, the hipster and his iPhone are both in good health.
“When he first arrived in the emergency room he told me that when he dies he’d like to leave his body to art. Fortunately, we were able to avert such a tragedy.”
Williams will be released tomorrow once his mother and step-father arrive from Connecticut with his woobie and a solar phone charger.