14 June 2013

Panic Attack

Just over a week ago, something happened that had a profound affect on me.  In hindsight it probably wasn't a big deal.  However, at the time it certainly seemed like it was!

So what was this 'thing' that happened that affected me so much?  Well the short answer is 'my iPhone'.  Read on and I will elaborate...

There I was getting ready for bed after a hard day's yakka when I checked my iPhone. It wanted me to update some Apps that I have on the phone, as occasionally happens from time to time.  So I clicked on the updates and let the phone do its thing.  However, this time something different happened.  All of a sudden my iPhone became frozen.  The screen was stuck and the home key, or indeed any key, was not working.  There was only one thing to do, and that was to reboot the phone.

Nothing special about that either.  Occasionally an iPhone can get 'frozen' and a reboot will generally fix this.  This time something different happened.  My phone booted up correctly but would not allow me to put in my passcode.  The keypad was frozen. Then after a few minutes the phone turned itself off.  A couple of minutes passed and the phone started booting itself up again. As before, I was unable to enter my passcode.  Again, the phone turned itself off! This process was to repeat itself all night and all of the next day.  In fact it happened until I got the phone fixed.

Fixing the phone was a problem in itself as Apple would not touch the phone as I had replaced a cracked screen a few months ago at a non-Apple store.  "It is not our problem" muttered the ever helpful Apple employee.  Finally I got the phone fixed.  The issue was that somehow my iPhone had been hacked.  Hence it was stuck in an eternal loop of switching on and off.

Whilst this was going on I was mobile phone free.  This is what impacted me the most.  Normally I use my phone to speak to people (duh), communicate via social networks, read emails and occasionally surf the net! This comes in especially handy when my bus is stuck in Sydney traffic, which is normally every working day.

The first of the two days without my phone was the hardest.  I felt like a reforming addict. I was constantly wanting to use a smart phone to do things. It was as if I had lost a very close family member or friend!  My bus trip home became one of looking out of the bus window at the sights such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as the bus travelled at its usual snails pace.  Inside the bus, virtually every passenger had their heads bowed, as in prayer.  However, the God of worship was not a religious one but their Smartphones!

Day 2 and I finally dropped my phone off to a non-Apple repairer (praise the Lord).  I was given the news that it had been hacked and that it was fixable.  However, I would lose whatever had not been backed up on the phone.  This didn't worry me too much as it would only amount to a few photos.  

I had 6 hours to pass at work before I could pick up my iPhone. I felt more relaxed. Actually whilst at work I didn't really miss my phone.  Maybe it was because I was going to collect it later that day. Maybe also because I realised that you can function without a smartphone. Whatever the reason, I did come to one conclusion.

Whether we like it or not, technology totally rules our daily lives.  We are addicted to it.  Especially platforms like iPhones, iPads and tablets.  We are starting to lose our ability to interact on a personal basis with other humans on a train or bus, for example. We worship social network outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.  They have become religious-like in their status.  We would rather read a status update than spend some extra time with a loved one or friend.  Like most of you I am guilty of this.  

Maybe what we need are 'technology fasts' every now and then.  For example, leave your smartphone at home deliberately when you go out.  Cutting off from technology for a few hours.  Maybe we could instigate a sort of Technology Ramadan? That could be very interesting indeed!

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