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This Is How A Stolen Phone Connected Two People In Different Countries Who Became Friends

This Is How A Stolen Phone Connected Two People In Different Countries Who Became Friends

If you have ever had your iPhone stolen, you try to get over your anger, buy a new one and move on. Read on, because I am going to tell you how the guy who had his phone stolen became famous overnight in China. The power of viral messages on the Internet will amaze you.

It all started when….

Matt Stopera, who works at Buzz Feed, went to his normal after work drink spot to unwind about a year ago in East Village, New York. Unfortunately, his iPhone was stolen. Matt got over it and bought a new iPhone. However, he forgot to do one little administrative task,  which was to have extraordinary consequences.

One day, something strange happened…

Months passed and Matt had almost forgotten the unpleasant incident. But, while looking for photos to put on Instagram a month ago, he suddenly noticed rather unusual and strange photos in his photo stream. There were a lot of photos of a guy standing in front of an orange tree! He had no idea who this guy was. How on earth did those photos get on his iPhone stream? There were also photos of shops, fireworks and buildings he did not recognize.

He decided to tweet a message about this as it was so strange:

“Um, I just looked at my phone’s photo stream and it’s full of pics of some guy and an orange tree I def didn’t take.”

He soon realized that these photos were taken somewhere in the Far East. Could it be that his iPhone, like so many others, had ended up in China?

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As this was the time The Interview film had been released, maybe there was a North Korean gremlin in the works or could it be a sign?

Whatever the explanation, Matt was able to watch his new iPhone’s owner’s life as it unfolded. He was hooked.

Then, it suddenly dawned on him that he had not disabled his iCloud drive on the stolen phone. That was easily fixed, and he thought that was that, because his new orange tree friend would no longer be able to access the iCloud account. It was over and he had learned his lesson.

The story goes viral.

Matt was astonished to learn that the whole episode which had started with one little tweet about a banal incident had suddenly gone viral on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The Chinese netizens were already on the job.

“ur story is very famous in China now, it has been reposted for more than 10,000 times on weibo(Chinese Twitter) in one hour.”

What was even more astonishing was that the Chinese social media crowd using Weibo were determined to find out who the man in front of the orange tree was and they would stop at nothing.

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“wish u can find him:).ur story are sooo famous in China that all of my friends have known u and the orange tree guy,lol.”

The orange tree man was soon tracked down

“The guy is from Guangdong province, China, we Chinese are helping you look for him on the Internet lol.”

People were putting a romantic twist on the story which amused Matt no end. It seemed to be the perfect story to match the time of the year, The Spring Festival.

The orange tree guy is found!

Then messages started to appear on Matt’s Twitter account saying that the guy had been tracked down and he too was becoming famous.

“Hey bro! The orange tree brother was found!”

As proof, a photo of Matt’s stolen iPhone was posted. The number was slightly different but it was definitely his phone. It was the orange tree man’s nephew who had spotted all the orange trees. Then a guy from Weibo, called Justin, offered to help Matt get in touch with his new friend

“Hey Matt this is Justin from Weibo. We might have found orange guy in China. And now we are trying to contact with this guy.”

A happy ending?

The guy’s nephew was trying persuade his uncle to set up a Weibo account while Justin asked Matt to do the same. They would then be able to exchange messages, at last!

Matt’s first message was:

“Hello everyone! Thank you so much for helping me to find my phone and Bro Orange! This has been such a great journey and only possible because of all of you. It’s a dream of mine to visit China and hopefully get to see Bro Orange and see your country.”

There are thousands and thousands of messages on Matt’s thread and the story has really become viral in that 30 million people in China have read about it! Matt himself is on Weibo’s trending topics.

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Apart from the fame, the best news of all, is that Bro Orange has now extended an invitation to Matt to come and visit him in China:

“Matt, you are welcome to come to our country and we welcome you to our guest house big Meizhou and enjoy our family out-of Hakka cuisine.”

Matt is now setting up his trip and is amazed at the generous offers from the Chinese citizens offering their services as guides and translators. It will be interesting to see how it all works out. Watch this space!

Featured photo credit: iPhone again/ Kenny Louie via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

The Need for Change

Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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Happy_old_man

    Signs It’s Time to Redefine

    “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

    So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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    In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

    “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

    The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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    When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

    Aronld in Predator

      Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

      And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

      Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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