In The News : Tranquility From Technology

I’ve often tried to remember what it must be like to have mobile phone.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of these people who can do a digital detox so I have to think back to the days around 20 years ago when I purchased my Philips C12.

The thing that strikes me the most is having to make plans in advance and stick to them.  Those weren’t the days of a  quick message to say that we’re running late, let alone using our phones to find out where we’re going.  It sounds ideal!

Listening to some of the people affected by O2’s outage last week, I wondered whether this technology makes it too easy for us to be shoddy.  One was unable to attend a job interview because they were relying on maps on their phone on the morning of the interview, rather than using a real map in advance.

Some people who would love to be able to use a phone are Impress, the only state-recognised press regulator in the UK. Most of their money comes from Max Mosley, the privacy campaigner whose family trusts recently committed another £2.85 million to keep it afloat until 2022.

The free line enables employees of news publications to report unethical or illegal conduct by their employers without fear of having their identity exposed. It is run by Protect, a charity, under a deal costing £3,600 a year.

However, Impress have released documents as they try to retain their “approved” status.  The documents aren’t particularly inspiring.

Impress has received annual reports from Protect which show that only one call was received in the past two years. This relates to a ‘mystery shopper’ call by Impress to test the service.

They received so few calls, they got one of their own people to ring it up to check that it was actually working.

For that amount of money and such little requirement for technology, Impress might think about moving to the idyllic Lihou Island off Guernsey by applying for the only job on the island – warden.  The tiny isle is in need of a new warden who will live in its sole house. The current warden, Richard Curtis, is leaving his post after 13 years and moving away.

The house doesn’t come with TV or wifi, and the “company car” is a tractor.  Environment ‘know-how’ is useful, and the applicant must be keen to learn and work with children.

I wonder how many O2 customers enjoyed such tranquility last week.

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