lack of O2 killing me …?

I thought yesterday was quite an interesting day if you were an O2 customer. There was a theft, or vandalism (or if you re into conspiracy theories … MI5 took down the network in connection with terrorist threats to the queen) or something that meant that the O2 network was ‘down’ for around half a day.

It was interesting because I got sucked into reading peoples comments on the support website. I went to see what the status update was and there were demands after demands for compensation, comments on how disastrous this was, and people very angry because they were unable to send or receive texts. I liked this comment in particular:

Comments = hilarity.
“Send everyone a text to tell them the network is down” – genius, pure genius.
“I pay £25 a month and I want compensation” – What are you going to do with your 83p? Don’t spend it all at once!
“I have a child in school” – generations of children went to school every day before mobile phones were invented. Most of them came home in one piece. They’ll be fine.
It’s almost worth the outage for the funnies. Good work, people – your self-inflicted misery is hilarious!

and this one really did make me laugh:

I have a date tonight and was meant to confirm the time and place… I’m stuck at work with just my phone on me that doesn’t work… what am I meant to do… is o2 going to compensate me for lost social life.. or even physical endulgence..

and the most sensible of all:

‘shut up … it’s only for one day!’

I was interested by two things in all this –

It seems we are becoming more and more of a ‘compensation’ culture. The cries for compensation on the support website are loud and numerous numerous, even though the person above asks ‘what will you do with your 83p refund?’ It seems we have come to expect a service and we don’t get that service then we have a right to be compensated. I don’t think that is a particularly pleasant side of our culture. I’m not sure what is says about where we are going as people … apart from always looking to transfer blame for our stresses onto other people. O2 gets blamed for a lot of stuff on the website … such as a persons decision to leave the arrangements for a date to the very last minute!

More interesting, though, is that it would seem that a large number of people, myself included, have allowed ourselves to become quite dependant on our mobile phones and communication structures. I wrote a while ago about the practice i notice when just sitting around of people, by habit, taking out their mobile phones every few minutes to see if they have missed a message. A friend responded that he felt connected and in community through his phone which is why he often checked. I guess if people feel connected through their phone then that would explain the anxiety for many yesterday … they were unconnected, they could not text, they could not be texted, they were no longer under the illusion of being in control – they were alone!

Did so many people really feel alone yesterday … is that why there was so much stress flying around?

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