You simply can't really prepare or plan for it - the "It won't switch on!!" scenario. Suddenly there is a sense of rising panic: How do I do my banking without the One Time Password to my phone? All my screenshots and images etc etc that I use for my social enterprise business? Did I mention BUDGET issues and that it's staff pay-day and nope, I'm barely scraping along after Covid and had zero plans to buy a new (or even new-to-me second hand) phone right now?
So what happened??
I didn't break it, drop it or run over it with my car. Cos I'm CAREFUL with my stuff, I know it needs to be used gently and utterly aware it's an older (3 years+) grandmother level phone.
Nope - sorry - that's NOT my image, cos I suddenly can't take photos. 🙁
I was uploading a video file to a business sales team group I run on facebook and it took AGES.... finally it bleeped (after like 15 mins) to say the 40 second video had finished loading. I can see the file uploaded and completed via my facebook page on my laptop, but suddenly the phone screen won't switch on. The phone IS charging merrily, so it's not Dead-Dead. It has NEVER glitched or had issues till today. Yes, it's a Samsung Galaxy - like my last 2 phones - and has provided INCREDIBLE service.
So what to freaking-well DO now???!!!
- Opening the phone back to let it all cool and dry off. 74% humidity in Chiang Mai, Thailand today and that COULD be a factor. In 30 mins or so, I will use the hairdryer on COOL setting gently over the phone's innards, to make sure it's NOT a humidity issue.
- Rethinking my afternoon to make a detour via the phone shop where I bought it.
- Checked with my daughter to see if she still has HER old phone - we always keep at least one old phone on standby, usually for giving away when we meet displaced people in need, but due to Covid we've been home based and the last telephonic relic has languished in her room. At least I will be able to access a OTP later in the day that way, if needs be.
I was suddenly reminded, in the middle of my little hissy-fit-techno panic, of a conversation I had just TWO DAYS AGO. About how crypto is such a sound and cool idea for the world's unbankable people and something which I've been looking at for YEARS for our refugee-displaced-people business partners. But it simply doesn't work if you don't have a decent device or access to reliable wifi signal at a fair price. I'm grateful to have a laptop in my office (with which to write this post) but increasingly most people don't. The data analysis from my online sales channels tells me that in my customer base, between 71% and 84% of people are accessing content and purchasing goods from their mobile devices only.
A smart phone is no longer a status symbol, but a serious daily necessity for banking, social enterprise, ecommerce and other dreary things like vaccine passports when we need to travel. It's literally a must-have in this digital age for participation in banking and commerce - I say that in Thailand where the local government offices no longer accept cash and receive payment for basic services by electronic transfer only.
- Wondering if electronic device banks should be an option for homeless people, undocumented people, or just plain old poor people?
- Wondering why more and more people are doing digital media degrees, but the local phone shop is less and less able to grab a screw driver and fix a techno glitch?
- Wondering about my use-it-till-it-breaks ethos in my increasingly minimal world, and how sustainable that is for me as a business person - should I just join the masses and buy a new phone each season along with new summer sandals?
Thought and prayers? Or simply thoughts about this crazy reliance we've created on technology and phones? Hit me up in the comments!