An American yoga instructor and Instagram influencer, Colleen Grady was trolled savagely on social media after her recent post stating that Indian are too poor to buy an iPhone X. The travel blogger was slammed for being racist after she expressed surprise that someone in ‘the poorest most overcrowded country’ would return her lost iPhone X or rather even have an iPhone X.
Taking to the photo-sharing app, she shared her experience of losing her ‘expensive’ phone on the streets of Jaipur. Her post reads, “I lost my sleek, expensive, 5-month-old iPhone X on the streets of Jaipur. Yep, lost it in the poorest most overcrowded country I have ever visited and one of the most scammy tourist cities in all of India.” She further added that she didn’t expect to get her phone back. “The cell phone is worth more money than some people in this country will have their whole lifetime. iPhone’s are really complicated to work if you haven’t had one. So even if someone found it, they probably would not even know what to do with it, how to get service, or how to even work the screen.” She stated.
She further stated she was in shock when the guesthouse owner left a message on her phone in Hindi in case anybody finds it. “We called the family and zipped around on their motorcycles to get back to my computer to try to find my iPhone. Then I found out that it is irrelevant if your phone is on airplane mode. The owner of the guesthouse left some messages to my phone in Hindi in case anyone found it. And I just was still frozen in shock.”
However, later in the day, she got a call from a local who informed her that he has found her ‘expensive iPhone’. She further wrote, “But then an hour and a half later someone called back from my phone. We raced again on a motorcycle through the chaos to meet some stranger in a dark alley to retrieve it. (All I was thinking was should I have brought my mace?) lol,”
Grady also wrote in her post that found it ‘miraculous’ that the person who returned her phone was also the owner of iPhone X. She wrote, “Miraculously the person that found the phone also had an iPhone X. Now that is another miracle in itself because hardly anyone in this country has an iPhone period. They gave it back with no problems and didn’t want anything in return, just blessings.”
The post garnered a lot of attention from the netizens and people showered hatred over her post. She not only deleted the post but her Instagram account as well. However, the screenshots of the post went viral on social media. Users called her racist and slammed her for her ignorance. People also threatened the brands to stop working with the travel blogger.
With continued trolling, she even deleted her travel blog and only shared an apology which also did not go well with the netizens.
In her apology, she wrote, “I am sorry that my words did not give clarity to the intentions in sharing my story. I had no intentions to belittle the Indian culture. The moral of the story was the blessings and gratitude I had for the Indian people who helped me in a moment of panic when losing my phone in a foreign country. I apologize for the most for the amount of pure hate that this has pulled out of so many people’s hearts and spread around the world.”
She further stated, “Ask yourself – If you found a smartphone device on the street locked, out of service, broken, no buttons, and the software is not in your native language: would it be easy for you to find the owner and return it? For me, the answer is no. I think most of us would agree the answer is no. This has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, class, education, etc.”
“My biggest dream for the last 10 years has been to come to India. I just spent 300 hours studying ancient Indian Vedic traditions and yoga. I have been in India for many months now. I have lived in an ashram. I have volunteered at a remote jungle school. I have lived with a host family. I have spent time in not only the palaces but also the places of extreme poverty. There is more context behind this one post. People have taken this post, and more so mere words out of my sentences, and pieced together and created an opinion and experience that I have in India. I’m sorry my words were perceived in a way that was so far from my true feelings about this country and the people in it. In the future, I will be more aware of my language and how my words are perceived.”