Mobile phone technology – blessing or curse?

The mobile phone has become an integral part of our daily lives. This week Gail muses on the trials, tribulations and general irritations of mobile phone technology.

mobile phone technologyI have always had a fairly love/hate relationship with mobile phone technology. The kids hop between devices with more enthusiasm and skill than spring lambs, but I really struggle. I really hate the moment when my service provider reminds me it is time for an upgrade and then provides me with a baffling array of packages to choose from.

Of course, it isn’t mandatory to change package or mobile phone and I have been doggedly attached to my current device for 5 years now. I love it. It works with me. I understand it and it mostly understands me. That was until yesterday when I managed to drop it down the loo.

Yes, dear reader, I will now share the intimacies of the bathroom with you.

Yesterday I met Meg at a coffee shop on the other side of town. We chatted for hours and drank bucketfuls of delicious coffee. We haven’t had a good catch up in ages. Life seems to have rather taken over. She has started Tai Chi and it seems to have consumed her very soul. Indeed she has become rather evangelical about the benefits.

‘Gail, you must try it’ she opined. ‘I leave with a sense of accomplishment, mental and physical balance and wellbeing’

I resisted the temptation to ask her if she had swallowed the promotional leaflet.

Mind you, listening to Meg espousing the virtues of Tai Chi was far preferable to her interrogating me about Harry. He is still Stateside with the ex, looking after the daughter. Absence does make the heart grow fonder but the longer he is away, the more I realise that I don’t actually NEED the complication in my life.

Anyway, back to the story of my mobile phone and its watery end.

I nipped to the loo before leaving Meg and calculated there was plenty of time to get home before my kidneys processed another bucketful of coffee. Sadly, I hadn’t factored in temporary traffic lights on the ring road. The traffic dawdled along and my kidneys decided to go into overdrive.

Consequently, by the time I got home I was dying for the loo and my pelvic floor was working overtime. I rammed my phone into the back pocket of my jeans, fumbled with the key, opened the door and rushed upstairs, shouting a greeting to Fudge as I went. Into the loo, trousers down and pop, the mobile fell out of my pocket and into the pan. I fished it out straight away (despite my bladder screaming for relief) and dried it on a towel.

Having appeased my bladder I examined the phone. It was sodden. I vaguely remember reading that you should put a wet mobile phone into a jar of rice to dry it out. Well, there was nothing to lose so I turned out my pantry to find some rice. Basmati, long grain, arborio? I wondered which would be best for liquid absorption. I settled for arborio on the grounds that when I make risotto it always gets welded to the bottom of the pan.

This morning, I took my rice coated phone to the mobile phone shop for advice. I didn’t go into great detail about how my phone had become so wet, but I think the chap behind the counter guessed. He had a smirk on his face!

And then he uttered the immortal words ‘well we should be able to retrieve something.’ Followed by ‘where do you have your data backed up?’

I blanched. Data backup? I can’t remember the last time I did that. I was too busy putting data in the damned thing. My life was in that phone. Contacts, diary, passwords, photos of the kids. He raised his eyes to the ceiling and set about trying to retrieve my life.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the SIM card was intact but the phone was a goner. I am now trying to get to grips with a new, waterproof phone which makes alarming noises at me that I can’t shut up.

I have decided to write all my contacts and passwords on a spreadsheet and put my photo’s on a memory stick. That’s my idea of data back up.

Meg laughed heartily when I told her the saga.

‘Oh Gail, why didn’t you back up your phone? I always do. That way I know I will never miss a Tai Chi class.’