Last week, my phone died. I was reading some headline news when the screen suddenly went black. I charged it up. I tried all the rebooting tricks. I tried to access it via my computer. Nothing. Dead in the water.
I saw it coming. This iPhone X was over five years old. The software reported that my battery was only operating at 70% of its original capacity. I had toyed with the idea of getting the battery replaced, but hadn’t gotten around to it. A few mornings before, a green line appeared on the right edge of the screen. I took that as an omen. But it continued to work until it didn’t.
I didn’t lose anything. My pictures were all backed up. My contacts, email, messages, and passwords are all synced with my laptop. It’s not the end of the world.
I got online and went to Back Market, where I could choose from all kinds of refurbished used phones. I don’t need the latest and greatest. A couple of years old, with decent memory, and small enough to easily slip in my pocket works for me. It will arrive tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’ve reflected on life without a smartphone. It’s been a long time – fourteen years – since I got my first one. I reflexively reached for it to set an alarm, see the weather forecast, check my email, take a picture, find an actor on IMDB, get GPS directions, discover a song title on Shazam, read the news headlines, buy something on Amazon, search for a recipe, and look at my calendar. Oh, and make a phone call.
I can do all this on my computer, so it’s not like I was cut off from the digital world. But my phone’s demise did remind me of how much I depend on this convenient and useful pocket-sized device.