No Phone Home

Recently, I broke my smartphone (it’s a long story but it involves a small battery pack attached to some Christmas decorations, and the end result was a completely smashed screen). So far I’ve been without it for two weeks – and counting.

I know what many of you will be thinking – how on earth am I coping?

Well, not very well.  But for different reasons than I initially expected.

I’ve always been a massive fan of the smartphone.  My dream, when I bought my very first one (a Nokia 6630) was to have a phone that would replace all the other separate items I carried about – my phone, my PDA/address book, my diary, my camera, and my (don’t laugh) portable CD player.

In the early days of so-called smartphones, all these functions were there, in really basic form.  But realistically, you still needed the individual items as well.  Even the PDA function wasn’t that great.

By mid-2008, I had a Nokia N95 8Gb, which allowed me to do everything that I wanted. The camera was excellent; the maps and GPS were useable; it played music… the S60 3rd Ed software was very flexible and useable.

By this time both Twitter and Facebook had made an appearance and I was already an avid user of both.  The only frustrating thing about the phone was the lack of touchscreen.

On our honeymoon that same year, the photos I took with its 5 megapixel camera were in many cases better than the ones taken with our 4 megapixel bridge camera. I loved that phone.

In the eleven years between getting my very first mobile phone and getting my first iPhone (a 3GS), the world had just about caught up with my dreams. Mobile phones now did everything, although some better than others.

Over the next few years, other manufacturers caught up with Apple and by last year I was spoiled for choice. In October, after much deliberation and research, I plumped for a Sony Xperia Z1. It ticked all my boxes and I was very happy indeed.

So fast forward to January 2014. The screen on my lovely Sony Xperia Z1 is suddenly in pieces.  As it’s a touch screen phone, that renders it pretty much useless. I can’t even unlock it or switch it off.

Thankfully I have insurance – but as it’s not specialised gadget insurance; it has to go through the whole cycle of assessment, parts ordering, repair… two weeks later and I still have no phone.

I honestly hadn’t realised quite how much phones had insinuated themselves into our everyday lives. When reality hit, it was a bit of a shock, if I’m honest.

I didn’t initially think it was going to be that bad.  After all, many things that I used my smartphone for, I can use my tablet for: music; games; watching films & TV; catching up with e-mails and social media etc.

But the part I miss most?  The actual phone.  Ironically the functionality that I used the least.

If I want to meet someone, I had to arrange a time and place beforehand, and then whoever arrives first has to just wait. No texting to say “I’m on my way, be there in 10”.

And when I ended up staying at the vets with my Mum’s cat for two hours, I couldn’t phone home to say I’d be late in.

A more awkward issue is the number of companies that require you to have a mobile phone as they use SMS validation.

I couldn’t set up mobile banking on my tablet for my main account, as they want to send me a text to make sure it is my tablet.

Without my phone, I didn’t receive the SMS reminder of my haircut. Thankfully I’d put it in my calendar, which I could access from elsewhere.

I also haven’t got my full contact list, as that’s on the phone, which means I keep having to look people up.

There are pluses though. As a relatively new starter at TSG, I’m still on the radar of several recruitment companies, who haven’t been able to phone me for two weeks.


Do you have experience of losing or breaking your phone? How did you cope? How much have you come to rely on your phone for keeping lists of contacts and reminding you of appointments?