Mobiles are great leisure devices, but we still need something to fall back on when we’re out and about, Do you have an analogue back-up plan?
‘Text me when you get to Kew Bridge and I’ll walk up and meet you.’ That was the last communication that I had with my friend Jess as I set out to see her for the first time in months.
This shouldn’t have been a problem – except that halfway there, my phone died. Not just out of battery, but dead. Not only could I not text her, I had no way of getting to her house if she had decided not to come and meet my train. I didn’t know her address, I couldn’t look it up on a map, I don’t know her phone number and I had no other way of letting her know what had happened.
And worse, as I pay for everything with Google Pay on my phone, I had no way of getting home again, either.
Stuffed without it
I suddenly realised just how much I rely on my phone. It’s a leisure device: I read books on it, I listen to music on it, I watch video on it, I chat to friends on it. It’s also a work device: I read Word documents on it, I can at a pinch even look at Which? Computing pages in progress. It’s a vital utility: I pay for everything with it, I find my way with it. I was stuffed without it.
It also made me realise just how important cash is. While the pandemic has pushed many of us into paying for things without cash, notes and coins are important to many – and you don’t need an internet connection to use them.
Fortunately, a frantic scrabble in my bag revealed that I had a debit card buried in its depths, so I could get home. And as it turned out, Jess did meet me at the station: she assumed that my phone had run out of battery. As for the phone itself, it turned out that its motherboard had died.
Analogue back-up plans
It was a wake-up call, though, and since this happened I make sure I always carry a contactless card with me and a £20 note when I leave the house, plus a note of the phone number of the person I’m going to meet.
Even early adopter technophiles like me, it turns out, need an analogue back-up plan. Do you have one?
What do you rely on your phone most for?