Ah, Technology (and Not Having a Mobile)

So, Yahoo deleted my account due to inactivity. That’s fair enough, considering I only use it every eighteen months or so when a question crosses my eye that is both active and I have an answer to – such as this one, on the similarities of Welsh and Gaelic (about which I will post next week).

The problem lies in the facts that (a) accounts deleted due to inactivity can’t be retrieved, and (b) signing up for a new account requires listing your mobile number so that a confirmation code can be sent to it; (c) I don’t have a mobile phone and (d) there doesn’t seem to be any way to change it to send to code to your e-mail. Also (e) I have a specific, uncommon question which isn’t answered in any of the pre-existing help pages and (f) you can’t e-mail administration for help without logging into your account, which leads me back to (a) my account has been deleted and (b-d) I can’t retrieve it or create a new one.

Now, I don’t have a mobile phone. Or FaceBook, for that matter. I do, however, have an e-mail address and a blog, which for the most part serves me well enough for keeping in contact with people, conveying information, and ranting and rambling about random things (such as now). I can acknowledge that some things might be easier with a mobile phone and FaceBook, but I also expect I’d be much less efficient about getting anything done if I had them do to getting distracted by them. (Which wouldn’t be a good thing, since I’m already distracted and inefficient).

Here’s the explanation: I used to have a mobile phone. I had one for a year – the year I was at face-to-face high school. I only got one after missing the bus and walking 15 minutes back home to beg a lift to school from my mother. But then I started doing SOTA (correspondence/home-based education) and we moved house. My sister stayed at the same primary school for her last year, now quite a distance away, and I readily handed over my mobile phone. No doubt that “readily” was due in part to the fact that, at the time, we had basically no mobile reception at our house.

Now, I don’t really think I need a mobile phone. (I also wonder whether I’d even be able to use one, given how mobile phone technology has progressed since 2009). Even though I’m at uni this year, I always have ready access to a computer onto which I can log to send or receive an e-mail, and if it’s something particularly urgent, there’s always the college landline. (And, on the rare occasions I feel I’ve overused the uni’s landline, there’s always someone around me with a mobile phone I can borrow).

After all, people organised their lives and communicated with other people for years – centuries – before mobile phones. And they didn’t have e-mails or landlines. You’ve just got to plan a little better. I don’t text my parents when I need to be picked up from somewhere – I estimate the time I’ll be finished and let them know beforehand. If I’m meeting a friend somewhere, I make sure to organise the details and confirm them in advance so we turn up in the same place at the same time – without phoning each other while walking there to confirm we’re both going in the same direction.

Really, it’s perfectly possible to live a sensible, normal teenage life without a mobile phone. It just takes a tad more planning and fosters a slightly greater sense of responsibility.

It also gives me a sense of being much older and world-weary when I look across a dining table filled with my classmates and sigh, because they’re all texting or FaceBooking and not actually talking – which is, after all, according to my upbringing, what meal-times are for.

It’s very, very rare to run across an occasion where I actually can’t do something because I don’t have a mobile phone. Now, I belong to a number of online forums and such. I even signed up for My9 (the Channel 9 equivalent of iView) the other day after missing something on the television (what a waste of time that was – the programmes aren’t nearly as good as the ABC, you don’t have to sign up for iView, just be in Australia [as I found out in Israel] and it doesn’t play as many ads). Yahoo is the first place I’ve tried to sign up to which doesn’t automatically send the code out to your e-mail. Even Bangkok Airport sent the connection code to my e-mail! At best, most online places have an option to send it to the mobile – I’d at least expect that Yahoo would retain an option to have it sent to e-mail. Quite obviously I signed up to it without a mobile phone the first time.

Oh, well. I suppose sometimes I just have to resign myself to not being able to share information with people who want to know it.

Even if my answer is more relevant and detailed than the others that are already there.

 

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5 thoughts on “Ah, Technology (and Not Having a Mobile)

  1. Jo Creek says:

    To solve the problem with having to provide your mobile phone number, you could always use your mother’s. It works for us.
    When I went to Texas with my parents when I was 19, I kept coming up against needing a “Texas Drivers’ License” for nearly anything I wanted to hire, borrow or book. “I’m from Australia, I don’t have a Texas Drivers’ License” was met with blank stares. I couldn’t even offer an Australian Drivers’ License as I didn’t have one of them! I’d offer a passport; no, it had to be a Texas Drivers’ Licence!
    People can manage without phones. I manage without a smart phone (only using one for text messages & calls). What it’s hard for people to do, I think, is having a particular item and then having to go without it.
    On my tablet I use the 9Jumpin app and I don’t have to sign in. Then last week I tried to watch on my computer and I had to sign in to My9. I don’t know why it’s changed, but as long as I can watch catch-up I’m happy. 🙂

  2. Jo Creek says:

    Sorry, I’ve thought of something else. My children do not have separate email addresses (except for their school ones) so they use the family email address when registering for something. Facebook for Josh was more difficult – two people cannot sign up using the same email address (which I think is odd, given that families may use the same one, particularly with children). Luckily I had a gmail account so I could use that and Josh use our family email address.

  3. Joy says:

    I think you should have a mobile phone with you when you are driving alone, particularly at night. As security. Of course you wouldn’t use it when driving.

  4. Rachel says:

    Auntie Jo – Or I could just not use Yahoo. Like I said, I only use it every other year, anyway. I thought it was odd that I had to sign up for My9, too, since my mum has it on her ipad and doesn’t have to sign in for it.

    Auntie Joy – Usually if I’m driving alone at night (which has only happened once) I take someone else’s mobile with me. All three others in my family have mobile phones and the chances of them all needing them are pretty remote.

    You’re telling me that when you first learnt to drive, and were driving alone at night, you had a mobile phone with you?

    • Joy says:

      You didn’t say that you took someone else’s phone out at night with you. That’s good.
      I learnt to drive at 21 and we didn’t have mobile phones and I never went out alone at night. Too far back to remember!
      My main point was to suggest you took a phone with you for safety. as you had not mentioned that.

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