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When Your Smartphone Dies


Well, I have to admit defeat. I have my laptop backed up through my Carbonite subscription, my contacts backed up through Verizon Backup Assistant, but when my smartphone died on Monday (Droid Incredible 2), I did not have my apps or phone data backed up. Most of my apps sync to the Cloud, so I guess I thought that my phone didn’t need to be backed up. Now I’m kicking myself as I rack my brain for all the apps I had on my phone. Thank goodness I use Gmail for my email and calendar, so all the info is synced to the Cloud.

Fortunately my dust covered Blackberry Tour stared at me from atop my desk as I talked to Verizon phone support to troubleshoot and have a new phone sent out. He routed my cell service to my Tour so that I had some connection to the outside world.

I bought my Droid Incredible 2 back in July at Costco for a mere $29.99 with renewed 2-year agreement. Great deal for sure. It makes my Tour look like an antiquated device from eons ago . . .

But alas, text message conversations from friends I had saved, love texts from my darling husband, and thousands of photos . . . hopefully these are still on my phone’s memory card . . . I relied on my phone for lots of communication.

At the same time, I have been pondering the need for being so connected. Last week, I accidentally left my phone at home for hours, and surprisingly, no one perished because they couldn’t get a hold of me. None of my kids went off the deep end, heck, my husband didn’t even notice!

One of my site’s contributors, Bryan Brooks, runs the blog, TechSabbathHabit, and frequently writes on how to tame the technology beast and get your life back. On the flip side, all of us know friends and family members who are always connected and seem to comment on your latest Facebook post seconds after you post it. Sometimes this makes me feel like I’m not connected enough because I just can’t keep up with that.

Most of the moms I know have smartphones, even if they are housewives; my in-laws recently purchased iPhones because they felt they needed to keep up even though they don’t use the phones for social media, internet, or even email; anyone else you talk to feels way behind if they don’t have a smartphone. I ask, is it worth the cost both financially and emotionally if you don’t need to check work email 24/7?

So this post started out as a warning to you all to backup your smartphone data (if you want to learn how to do that, read this article). But I guess it has turned into my personal thoughts about being over-connected.

Am I the only one debating NOT having a smartphone? I keep thinking about saving the $30 per month and getting a “dumb-phone” just for calls and texts, and using my Droid on the Wi-Fi network at home, church, library, gym, Starbucks . . . Has anyone else contemplated this?

If you are a pastor, how do you tow the line between being connected and having some mental space? It is a hard line for sure, for all of us. I welcome a discussion here.

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology PR consultant ( and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (, Technology for Today’s Church.
Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at


  1. This is almost too coincidental. My iPhone also died on Monday! Well, “died” after I mistreated it. (it doesn’t swim well) I’m fortunate, in at least two ways. One, I do have a very good backup of my iPhone — just a few hours before the “incident.” Secondly, amazingly, I’ve been able to revive the phone as of a few hours ago. The screen is a litle dark, and I need to do more work on it, but it ‘s functional.

    I had a tough time without my device. It’s so much more than just a phone to me. GPS, maps, voice recorder, calendar, task list, and on and on, so I’m not too interested in trying to cut back. Actually, because of all I can do on the phone, I’ve been rather successful at cutting back on my use of a real computer. any credit for that? 🙂

  2. That’s what happened to me last Thursday, Mar. 1. My Droid 2 got too hot and the next thing I know its battery was dead and wouldn’t charge. They did send me another phone overnight (minus the back which is interchangeable). When I activated the new phone all of my facebook friends and twitter follows were listed in my contacts. I too, am considering just getting a “dumb phone”.

    • So after spending an entire hour on phone support with Verizon, I’ve nearly given up the will to live (just kidding). Their backup assistant site is down, and the customer support guy couldn’t even delete my backup so that I could start from scratch. It makes me crave a good ole’ fashioned paper address book that will never fail unless my house burns down or I spill coffee on it . . . Uggh . . . I feel your pain, Pam!

  3. On the phone with tech support at Verizon trying to figure out why I can’t get my contacts backed up on my new replacement phone. Website won’t let me login, plus somewhere along the way my contacts have been duplicated so that I have three times the contacts in my Verizon Backup contacts . . . has anyone had problems like this with their Droid/Verizon contacts? Very, very frustrating.


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