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An uplanned unplugged weekend

John Cord//June 11, 2012

An uplanned unplugged weekend

By John Cord

//June 11, 2012

I unplugged a little from technology this weekend. Voluntarily, you ask? Of course not, I answer. (Do you know me at all?)

Here’s the setup:  I was out at the Hampden Honfest with a friend, my wife and the two babies. Our 18-month old was getting a little fussy, so I took her home so everyone else could enjoy the rest of the festival. I took care of Tallulah’s basic needs (a diaper changing) and I went into the kitchen to get her something to drink. I returned and saw her outstretched hand holding my phone through the bars of the staircase railing.

“Tallulah — don’t do it…”

She let go. The phone dropped from the second story to the first, hitting the floor near the front door.  She peered through the bars to see what damage her mischievousness had wrought. I leapt downstairs, seeing the three pieces—phone, battery and battery cover. It could be fine, I thought.

Then I turned the phone over. The screen was cracked, and after putting the battery in, there was little life left in my crippled friend.

So ended my Saturday, about five minutes before the local phone store closed. My fault for leaving the phone within easy reach. I planned to get a replacement Sunday but the store was closed and I wasn’t going to go driving.

So I lived without my phone for a full day. It functioned just enough to tell me when calls, e-mails and text messages came in, but there was no chance of knowing more.

My local retailer helped me to select a new phone today. Did I have insurance? Of course not. My last phone survived for something like three years: I calculated the lifespan of my phones since I started purchasing them, and I would have lost money with insurance. So, I didn’t do it.

But, even with the mandatory two-year contract renewal (Grrr….), I still dropped $200 on the next generation of technology. And, of course, I miss my old phone. It’s sort of an NCC-1701 versus NCC-1701-A problem. (You don’t remember Star Trek V? Arguably the worst Trek movie ever? Kirk:  “I miss my old chair.” Nevermind…).

Probably the worst of it is losing the data from my old phone. The SIM card saved my contacts, but my photos, notes and other information are now quite possibly unrecoverable. I’ve plugged the phone into my computer, but nothing registers.

I’ve always been fanatical about backing up my laptop — every single week I copy everything to an external hard drive. But as far as my phone is concerned, I’ve been less than diligent.

So two lessons:

1.   Mama, don’t let your babies have access to your technology; and

2.  Backup your phones, regularly. They’re just as important as your computer.


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