Phones are considered one of the most important thing in some peoples lives, alongside the internet. So, it is not surprising that this product and this service has been combined. However, in the resent #O2down dilemma many people became angry at this mobile network provider, for their poor service. This angry highlighted how much people are becoming dependent on their mobile devices.

A little history.

The first creation of the smartphone also lead to the combination of the mobile devices with the internet. This was first seen in the BlackBerry, which was very popular amongst the business industry. In just a few click of that tiny hand held keyboard, you could serf the world wide web. For the first time, the expression ‘the world is at you fingertips’ became possible. People where fascinated by the ability to research, shop and connect all on the go. This was quickly adopted by Apple and other companies and still seen and used in the same ways as to probably the phone which this blog post is being read on.

black t-moblie Blackberry phone

Image from attribution required).

What actually happened?

On the 6th December 2018, those on the O2 network where unable to use or access their mobile data and 4G. This meant that people where unable to phone, text and use applications which needed to be linked to the internet when they where away from any source of Wi-Fi. The team at O2 where working on this technological fault for the whole day. It was not resolved till the early hours of the following morning.

So, what where people’s reactions?

In modern society it has become a necessity to carry a phone everywhere. FOMO (the fear of missing out) has become a big epidemic. This has created the boom in the stock market price of phone companies. These smart phones connect to customers mobile data on the go. This allows people to stay up to date with social media, news and much more throughout their days. So, it is understandable that when the company O2 crashed many people where angry.

Many people where reliant on their phone company enabling them to carry on with day to day activities. Many didn’t have a back up for when all systems broken down. Skype meetings where cancelled, paper maps where rediscovered and conversation when paused. This also effected other networks such as Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile as O2 additionally cater for these companies phone lines. As a result, this meant many people where on the hunt for Wi-Fi spots commenced so that communication could be maintained and meetings could continue.

The walls of social media where covered with peoples complains. Despite all of this the use of social media on the 6th December by O2 has become very memorable. The tone of their tweets where honest and comical as they reacted to both the public and other well known companies.

It’s not just phones.

However, O2’s crash was not the first incident that highlighted how much people rely on technology. In June this year Visa, the credit and debit card service, was unable to register card transactions via the chip and pin. Many people panicked. They started to form ques at cash points. This is because the notion of carrying cash had become unusual in this digital society. Many people where frustrated as it was preventing them from continuing with their day to day activities. Once again, the nation was held to a stand still because of a technological fault. It also shows unprepared society is when long used technology fails.

A preson handing over a credit/debit card over the counter as a monetary transaction

Image from (no attribution required).

There is a up side.

This technological fault did caused many inconveniences. But the way in which some companies such as Giffgaff tried to compensate their customers was unexpected. This company offered to compensate their customers, providing an option to send the compensation to a charity supported by the company, which is Crisis. A third of the compensation which was offered to the customers was donated to this charity.

In Summary.

O2 technical fault has demonstrated that technology is become so important. It is taking over simple activities and becoming a lifestyle necessity for many people. O2 made people realise how much they used and relied upon their phones in day to day life. And this is not the first incident as Visa demonstrated the need for material money, as back ups to their cards. A previous blog post about Alexa suggest the how dependent people are in the home. But, the #O2down illustrates that people are dependent on technology whilst on the go as well.  So, does this mean that we are depending too much on technology in day to day life? What will be the next thing to crash?

Let me know your thoughts.

If you where effected by this or if you would like to share you opinion, please tweet me or leave a comment below.