Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Network down. Is life ending as we know it?

So one of our mobile communications networks suffered a few problems over the weekend and the network wasn't available to everyone for some part of a day. Calls for compensation and shouts of annoyance at the outrageous suggestion that turning one's mobile device off and on again might solve the problem were amongst the angst ridden cries of the mobile masses. Well at least some of them.

So how did we actually manage before we bought into the mobile culture? How did we get from one place to another, find an address, arrange to meet someone or communicate with out friends in the dark days before wireless communication became the norm? Well, we bought maps, asked for directions, prearranged times and made the effort to turn up on time.

Of course mobile 'phones are great. They enable us to stay in touch and check in with each other easily and helpfully. I went to visit a family recently about a funeral and when I arrived in the correct street discovered I didn't have the house number. My synchronised diaries across 'phone, Mac and iPad hadn't actually synchronised (turning my MacBook off and on fixes this problem every time!), and it was great to be able to call the Funeral directors and ask for the house number. So I'm not arguing against the mobile world.

On the other hand, life isn't going to fall into some sort of dark, scary abyss just because O2 or EE or Three isn't working for a while. Living without your 'phone isn't going to make all your friends and family forget who you are just because your Facebook status hasn't been updated in the last two hours.

We need some perspective. We need a more rational response. We need to turn our devices off and on again or just off, at least for a little while. If that doesn't fix things, then the problem might be a bit more serious. Perhaps the world has ended, perhaps the sky has fallen in. If that has happened, a lack of mobile reception might be the least of your worries!

Ooh, I've just heard my 'phone ping. A text message, must dash and check who's trying to get my attention!!

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