A recent story about the best music festival in the world has prompted me to ask here on the Htet Tayza blog; do we rely on our phones too much?
The rise of the smartphone
Do you remember a time before phones were “smart,” No, neither do I. These days the smartphone is a must have in pockets, handbags and satchels around the world. This is because the smartphone is amazing. It’s like having a mini computer in your pocket and you can get an app for everything. There’s no limit to what you can do with a smartphone.
You need your phone at Glastonbury
Yet sometimes I wonder whether we’re a little too plugged in. A story about Glastonbury has brought this point home to me. Glastonbury is a five day music festival held in Somerset in the UK. The event has been going for decades and many believe that it’s the best music festival in the world. But anyone who’s ever partied in the Somerset mud will tell you that it’s impossible to keep your phone charged for five days. You have to unplug when you head to Glastonbury. Or do you?
Tech Week Europe recently reported that EE and Glastonbury have teamed up to make sure revellers have enough juice on their phones to last them the entre festival. The phone network will set up two Power Bar Exchange points at Glastonbury. It will be able to accommodate an astonishing 200,000 Power Bar Swaps during the duration of the festival. It will be free for EE customers but everyone else will have to pay £20 to utilise the service.
A sign of the times
EE’s Power Bar is an amazing invention. It’s basically a portable charger for your phone. The company started offering Power Bars at Glastonbury last year. According to Spencer McHugh, EE’s director of brand “we received over a million requests in just four days.” EE also revealed that their customers uploaded the equivalent 1.5 million pictures and downloaded 2.5 million terabytes of data at Glastonbury 2014.
The thing that struck me about this story is that Glastonbury is the best music festival in the world. I thought people would be too busy appreciating the music to care whether their phones were charged. Clearly I was wrong, and this story shows just how dependent we’re becoming on our hand-held devices. Does this mean we use them too much? Maybe, but it’s a sign of the times. I genuinely believe that at this point, the smartphone is an essential part of everyday life.