What I Learnt From… Breaking My Phone

I’ve always seen people with shattered phone screens and considered myself lucky that, in eleven years of owning iPhones, I’d never managed to properly damage one of my mine.  That changed last week when I dropped the phone that I’d decided I was going to keep another year barely hours before.

I’ve seen far worse than what I did to mine, but it was an annoying shatter and the phone started doing its own thing which I would really rather it didn’t.  I took it to be repaired.  Here’s what I learnt.

Insurance Companies And The Value Of Faff

I still hate them.  All my experience with insurance companies tells me that they’re basically just offering loans with unspecified interest rates.  There is no risk on their part, because the provision of loans should basically be the company taking them off us.  They can do what they like with it while they have it, so when we need it back with a bit more money, they can provide it.

The bit that annoyed me in this case was the hoops I had to jump through.  I rang up asking what the process was – what my excess was, would I be without a phone etc etc.  The opened a claim – they couldn’t answer my questions without one.  But I didn’t want to claim.  I just wanted a chat.

And yet to get my questions answered, I had to answer theirs.  My phone is covered on my household insurance – building and contents.  That doesn’t explain why I had to tell them what my walls are made out of or whether the house has any flat roofs.  The hardest question, by far, was when they asked me what my occupation was.  I can’t remember what my answer was then because I haven’t actually known what my occupation is for years.

In the end, the faff wasn’t worth the effort.  I’ll save losing my no claims discount for something of greater value than a phone screen.

Just Look After It

I dropped my phone cause I had an itchy shoulder.  Listening to the technicians, they get all manner of reasons for broken screens.  One apparently had her phone whipped out her hand while in a hurricane in the US.

Another was getting her 7th or 8th screen, so they said.  This one apparently asserted that the screens should be stronger, as she tucked her phone under her armpit to get something out her bag.

I dropped mine by mistake and was gutted cause I actually try and look after my stuff.  Buying the phone outright, this person was literally putting a £1000 computer under her arm and then complaining when she dropped it.


By the far the biggest takeaway was that, as I left my phone in store for the 39 minutes it took to repair it and walked out, I realised that I had nothing to look at other than what was around me.

There’s an increasing number of Kickstarter projects that are offering phones that are just mobile phones rather than smart phones.  They offer a “relaxing” experience.  I think they could be right.

I thought I was disconnected.  Actually I wasn’t.  With my watch, if I’d have had a pair of earphones I could actually still make calls and send messages.  What I wasn’t able to do was check social media or play games.  It was relaxing, but I think more than that I was a lot more focussed.

That sounds like a bizarre thing to say, but I got all the stuff done that I needed to get done what felt like more efficiently than if I’d have had my phone.

It was a horrible realisation.

I don’t think that social media has a significant impact on my life, but it would appear that it does take up time, and that’s quite sad.  I’ve always thought that I use it to take up “dead” time, such as a walk in between shops, and that that’s fine.  However, it would appear that that was encroaching on my value added time too.

The thing is, I walked out the shop and instead of taking my phone out my pocket, it felt like there were more opportunities to get things done.  I think smartphones are a great invention, I’m now just thinking that they should be treated differently.

It’s made me think more about what I’m doing, rather than just doing things out of habit.  To all intents and purposes, phones were supposed to be for communication.  Social media might make us think that we’re connected, but how often do we use it to engage meaningfully?  Normally it’s just a one way conversation.  Rolling phones back to just phones and messages could actually help us communicate more.

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