phoneAndy K and I were lunching in Chinatown And in between trying to catch one of the staff’s attention, we were having our usual argument.

He uses his i-phone like an office. He literally uses it for everything, from recording interviews to timing when to take his next antibiotic pill!

All his Contacts are listed on it, plus his diary.

Mine is a phone, with a few Contacts listed in it.

I have bits of paper in my bag with addresses, phone numbers, etc written on them, which Andy finds hilarious!

Everything’s also stored in his computer. It’s all password protected.

And then I asked him, How would I know if something happened to him? Who would know my details to let me know?

After thinking about it, he had to admit, nobody had access to his private filing systems. He’d just vanish off the face of the earth, leaving all his friends wondering what they’d done to upset him and make him stop speaking to them!

Nowadays, so many people live like that.  They assume that their gadgets are 100% reliable.

I called my friend Pat to say that I’d be early for our meeting the following day. And she told me she’d sent me a text to say that she’d had to cancel as she had to take her daughter for a hospital appointment.

It’s a good thing that I phoned her or I’d have had a long journey for nothing.

The text arrived the following day!

Several months ago, I was sitting in an Airport and I got a text to say a journalist friend was just coming through Security. He was already sitting next to me by then with his coffee. He’d beaten his text!

I once missed a juicy Press invitation because the email didn’t turn up. And they got huffy with ME for ignoring them!

And that’s just the one that I know about. How many more could there be flying around in the clouds?

Don’t assume that your texts, emails, etc arrive unless you get a reply.

On the other hand, how do you know if your reply arrives? Maybe we should reply to replies!

Back to my discussion with Andy.

Loads of us have plenty of Contacts who we email and chat to that our families don’t know about. Or they might know about them, but not know their details.

My advice is, forget the electronic gadgets. List the important ones on a piece of paper and give a copy to a reliable friend. Or hide it somewhere in your bank or insurance paperwork.

Title it ‘People to inform if anything happens to me.’

That way, you’ll be sure that they will get the news eventually, and won’t think you’ve fallen out with them!