Our Virtual World and Top Bare Necessities

The notion of life’s bare necessities was immortalised in “The Jungle Book” more than four decades ago. To mark the forthcoming release of the film on Blue ray, Disney carried out a survey to find out Bare Necessities of modern day life. Included in the top 20 are high-speed internet connection (ranked number one), cuddles came in at number 3, a trustworthy best friend ranked at 4 and a Smart phone weighed in at 19!

You can imagine my devastation when my Galaxy Samsung S3 and iPad were stolen recently. In one sweep I lost over £1300 of kit and two bare necessities! The thief would probably describe the haul as a good day at the office! Reflecting on why this experience had so impacted on me, I realised I have become so wired – the internet communication, news on the go, feedback, my notebook , my diary to name a few are critical. I felt violated, vulnerable, confused, afraid and abused . Unexpectedly my virtual world was shattered, accompanied by feelings of helplessness and blame. I kept reliving that experience with different scenarios. ‘What if I had…if only I had’.

Step in another bare necessity (cuddles) – the kindness of strangers. People who sat with me till the police arrived, gave me the privacy to give a statement and accompanied me to the place where I would feel safe again. Others lent me their phones to make essential calls. I was staying away from home overnight, so I needed to let people know what was had happened. Posting updates to Twitter and Facebook help me achieve this. Friends and family stepped in to reassure, comfort and encourage. Practical steps kicked in – empathetic staff who provided fantastic support. Backups in the Cloud meant I recovered almost all my data including photographs and I was up and running in a few days. The ‘new normal’ for me is discovering the importance of anticipation (planning for a rainy day even though it may not come), recognising the value of building in security measures , not being overly reliant on virtual communication and the significance of insurance (sadly I was not insured). ‘Where is my iPhone app’ usefully helped me to remotely wipe out all my data as well as put another lock on my iPad for extra security. All in all this experience left me a little scathed, and also much wiser.

We are all different and I am sure that some of you would not be so affected by a loss of a phone or iPad – an inconvenience yes, traumatic? Definitely not! What devices, habits, or rituals do you use to sustain or support yourself? What is your connection with gadgets or electronic tools? Electronic/digital applications can be brilliant to build our communities, our organisations, and our boards.

How can we protect ourselves so that our gadgets don’t rule our lives or shape an addiction? I confess until this occurrence, I had not realised just how dependent I had become on my digital tools and connections. While I leave the experience financially poorer, I also leave a bit smarter; somehow I think I have achieved a win of sorts and connected again to inner Baloo!


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