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Have you ever used a pop socket on your smart phone or tablet to decrease hand pain? I’ve seen them around for a few years and was curious, but I never knew what they were called or how to find one and I was very skeptical of how well they’d actually hold up or whether or not my phone would still fit in my pocket.
Then my husband had a meltdown and broke his phone. I was pretty angry because I’d been needing a phone for a while and was holding off to try to save money, but I couldn’t say anything or really hold a grudge about it. My meltdowns have cost us a computer, a big screen TV and an odd assortment of other electronics over the years.
When my husband kept insisting he take my old phone and get me something new, I wasn’t feeling it. It didn’t seem fair. We’d replaced the computer and TV I’d destroyed because frankly we can’t live without our electronic babysitters even if they do frustrate us into punching, throwing or, during an especially powerful, anxiety fueled meltdown, stomping a flip phone into oblivion in the parking lot just before a psych evaluation mandated by the Social security administration (me, not him).
I will always wonder whether the psychiatrist witnessed that and if it contributed to securing my SSDI. I’m not proud of these things, but I’m finally starting to own them and give up the shame that’s consumed me for decades over my inability to control these outbursts. Realizing I’m just your everyday normal neurodivergent, rather than a fucked up neurotypical has gone a long way to quelling the shame spirals I once fell into whenever these things happened.
We looked at used phones and couldn’t manage to make anything come through. We headed over to Verizon drunk on Avengers End Game victory, just to see what they could offer. Somehow I ended up walking out with a Galaxy S10e, while my husband got a downgraded galaxy version for free. It only brought our bill up a little and we didn’t have to pay anything up front, so I was basically happy.
Only the phone is smaller than my old Galaxy Note 5 and even with a big heavy case on it, it didn’t feel like anything for me to hold onto and it was still too big to work it with one hand. So when I was given a freebie pop socket at pride, I got to see what all the hubbub was about.
They’re fairly simple. Closed, they look like a button that sticks up from the back of your phone by about a half inch. Pull on the button and it extends twice, creating a space to slide your fingers in on either side, creating a better, easier handhold no matter what position you’re in (I love mine most when laying in bed). It makes the phone much more stable and secure in your hand while allowing you to work the phone with your thumb while you’re holding it. You can also use the extended pop socket as a stand, so you can watch a show or read an ebook handsfree. The only problem with my little freebie pop socket? It came off in a few days!
When I decided I wanted one bad enough to try another, I remembered the cute little pop socket I had listed among Amazon awareness products on my What is EDS post, so I found it and decided to buy it despite three major concerns:
- Unlike the first, would it actually attach to my case for longer than a few days? With my tremors, poor proprioception and tendency to drop things, meltdowns are the least of my worries regarding phone breakage. I definitely need to be able to use a case.
- Also, would it still fit in my pocket or other tight spaces without getting broken?
- Finally, would it last?
Despite my concerns, I moved forward with my purchase. Having the first for less than a week convinced me they were too good to do without, even if the adhesive wasn’t worth the plastic they put it on. I could reach most of my screen with my thumb, I could relieve the pressure of trying to hold onto the slippery little sucker and if I could use it with a durable case, then I wouldn’t have to worry about my clumsy ass breaking it in the first month.
Turns out it was love at first use. It arrived in just a few days and I was surprised by how much sturdier it seemed than the freebie I tried. Not only is it the perfect way to represent my stripes, it’s a great way to reduce hand pain and fatigue. I love the design, too. Rosie the Riveter has always been near and dear to my feminist heart and I feel powerful when I look at her and think about all she represents in this EDS adaptation. Better yet, with its purple tones, it matches my galactic geek girl case to a T, so I didn’t have to sweat buying another case, provided it would adhere. Attaching it to my case was no problem, either.
Until Suddenly It Was…
After about a month of use, my Pop Socket popped right off my case. Of course the manufacturer set very specific instructions NOT to attach it to a case, so I take full responsibility. Of course I still didn’t want to live without it or my case. Since my case was only a few bucks, I decided to try to super glue it. I figured if I ruined the pop socket and/or the case, I wasn’t really much worse off and would just replace the case.
Getting My Pop Socket to Adhere to My Case
I applied a generous amount of super glue directly to the back of the pop socket and… So far so good! It adhered to both the pop socket and the case! After letting it sit a few minutes, I extended the button and went back to work. This time my beloved pop socket isn’t showing any signs of going anywhere, making it nearly as unbreakable as this EDS warrior! 😆
I love the added security of having the pop socket on my phone and my hands go numb and cramp way less. I have a more secure grip, which ultimately means less risk of dropping it. Since I decided to super glue it to my case, I also feel like the phone is still secure even if I do drop it.
If you want to reduce hand pain and have a convenient little way to stand your phone up, the pop socket is a great way to go. If you want to raise awareness for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I highly recommend this one. You certainly don’t have to glue it to a case like I did mine, but if cases are as important to you as they are to me, it’s nice to know it’s an option and that regular old super glue, available for about a buck a tube, will get the job done. I do have to say, since it lasted a whole month being stuck to something it’s not supposed to be, that it does come with really good adhesive. Had I not gone rogue in the first place, I’m confident it would have stayed when applied directly to my phone for much longer. To order it on Amazon, go through this link: Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Warrior Unbreakable – EDS Awareness – PopSockets Grip and Stand for Phones and Tablets
And here are some Pop Sockets for raising awareness for other common comorbid conditions to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome:
- MCAS Warrior NFTW Popsocket
- CFS Warrior NFTW Popsocket
- Butterfly Fibro Awareness Pop Socket Support Fight Gift
- Funny Fuck Fibro Fibromyalgia Awareness Purple Butterfly
- Love Hope Faith Gastroparesis Pop Socket
- Standing Is My Cardio Funny Dysautonomia Awareness PopSockets
Already own a pop socket? Tell us what you thought about yours in the comments! If you’ve had issues with the adhesive wearing out, what fix did you try and how long did it hold?