Losing your smartphone: the cardinal sin of 21st century life

I was in a meeting today where one of the guys leading the session was feeling slightly out of sorts. He’d lost his smartphone… or to be more precise, he hadn’t lost it, his wife had washed his clothes with the phone still in them. But the upshot was the same either way: he had no smartphone for the day!

There was a time, back in the heady days when we all first went mobile, when not having your phone with you was an inconvenience. It was a niggle, an irritation, but not the proverbial end of the world.

Now, in a world where constant online access is seen not as a luxury but as a basic human right, losing your phone is tantamount to being sent to a remote, deserted island away from the rest of humanity. Without our phone, we’re not connected to society anymore – in 2013, so many of our interactions with other people are digitally based, that being unplugged from the mothership is akin to a 1950s child being sent to their bedroom with no supper. Without our phone, we have nothing to play with. Nothing to broadcast with. And nothing to read on, consume through or listen to.

Take away a person’s phone, and you take away a part of their personality. Their choice of apps, the photos in their gallery, the texts in the inbox, the live feeds to social media sites: all of it tells us something about that phone’s owner. Looking at another person’s phone without permission would be far, far worse than reading their personal diary. It’s a glimpse into everything that makes that person tick in the 21st century.

So, be careful with your smartphone. Keep it well away from washing machines and, if it does get wet, here’s some useful advice on how to dry it from the Gadget Show.

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