Yes, you read that correctly. MY MOBILE TELEPHONIC DEVICE IS BROKEN. One minute I was using it, the next I had the Black Screen Of Doom™. My initial reaction? The Fear. OHMYGODICANNOTLIVEWITHOUTMYPHONEWHATAMIGOINGTODOSHALLIJUSTCRY??? Then came denial. It can’t really be broken. Course not! It’ll just be a glitch. Or a battery blip. I’ll just plug it in. It’ll be fine. No. Nothing. The little charging light didn’t even come on. It’s just a lump of dead plastic and cold metal.
This all happened in the same week that our boiler broke. While we had no hot water and only cold water to half the house, the kettle broke. Then the house phone broke, at the exact time that I needed to be able to contact the gas company. Then, while the house phone was broken, my mobile died. All in one week.
Everything is on my mobile. Everything. Obviously, I use it to call and text people. I have my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Not essential, I know, but as well as the usual social media chit chat, I use them for bringing visitors to my blog; checking out products and companies before buying; and getting advice from friends and relevant places on parenting stuff.
I have my calendar on my phone. I have a wall calendar in the kitchen too but the one on my phone helps to make appointments while I’m out. I do my weekly food shop from my phone. I have a banking app and my email account set up on there. Paypal and Pingit apps. Very handy. I use YouTube to look up crochet how-to videos. I have games on there to keep the kids amused if we’re stuck in a queue or waiting for a bus. Ah, the bus. We don’t have a car. Buses are not always reliable. Having a mobile is reassuring if I’m stranded at a bus stop just as it’s getting dark or trying to get home in time for the school run.
My contacts list. It’s on my phone. No one keeps phone numbers in their heads anymore do they? I know about half a dozen numbers by heart – my own, my mum, my husband. But almost all of my contact information is on my phone. I had no way of calling Sophie, or my best mate, or the friend I meet at Bouncing Tots every week (she’s probably still wondering why I’ve dropped off the planet).
My phone is also my camera. I take a lot of photos. I’ve got a good routine of photographing as I cook so that I can blog later. So at the moment, my food posts are on hold. Not much point blogging recipes if no one can see what it’s meant to look like. Sorry about that. I’ll get straight back on it when my mobile is restored. There have been lots of little moments, particularly with the kids, when I’ve reached for my phone before remembering it’s dud. And I feel a bit sad that I haven’t documented that little event or milestone and it’ll probably been forgotten by teatime. But does that really matter? I’m not sure. Does it?
For the first few days I felt very cut off from the world. It felt very daring leaving the house without a mobile phone. Going anywhere without tweeting or texting or telling the world I was GOING OUT seemed weirdly scary. No one will know where I am!!! But guess what? It was fine. I went out. I did whatever I needed to do. I came home. Nothing bad happened.
I missed two visits from the gasman because, despite telling them it was out of action, their engineers left voicemails on my mobile to confirm the appointments. I am using the laptop for most stuff but it feels very clunky and hard work compared to the ease of a touchscreen. But not the end of the world. I’m getting used to it. Gradually, I have started to adapt.
I ordered a new battery for my phone. When it arrived, it was the wrong one. Sigh. I ordered the right one. It didn’t help. I took my phone into the shop today. The sales assistant helpfully confirmed that my phone isn’t working. No shit, Sherlock. It’s within its 24-month warranty so is being sent away for repair. It’ll take up to three weeks. And when it comes back, it’ll be factory settings. All my apps, photos, calendar, everything will be wiped. My contacts and some of my photos are backed up. I think. They offered me a temporary smart phone, if I gave them a £60 deposit. I’d just paid for a new boiler and mobile battery and it’s a week before payday. So that wasn’t an option. Instead the assistant has given me The Oldest Phone In The World™. I can call and text. That’s it. No camera. No internet. It’s literally just a phone. It doesn’t have predictive text. It doesn’t have a qwerty keypad. It has push buttons. The screen is a one-inch square. It flips open. Stop laughing!
Actually, infuriating as it is, it’s also surprisingly refreshing!
Could you live without your phone? What other everyday items could you not live without?