Wednesday, January 25, 2023

5 Reasons I Carry a Backup Phone

Here's my top five reasons I carry an itty bitty backup cell phone:

1. To find my 'main' phone. In that moment of panic when I realize my regular phone isn't in my pocket, I can use my backup phone to find out where it's located.

2. To let me communicate when my main phone gets lost, broken or separated from me. We ran into this over the summer when I handed my phone to my nephew to take pics. Shira and a few kids got separated from me and the rest of the little ones. Of course my nephew was in Shira's crew, safely holding my phone. My backup phone let us gracefully reconnect.

3. To access FM radio in an emergency. In a disaster, the humble FM radio can become a critical lifeline. That's why a radio is mentioned on Arlington County's build an emergency kit page as a 'basic emergency' item. Having the radio as part of my backup phone, rather than built into my primary phone, means that I can get info in a disaster while not running down the battery of my main device.

4. To avoid the distractions of a cell phone while still maintaining a safety net. I carry my backup phone on Shabbat, a day when I relish and recharge by being offline. By carrying my backup phone, I know I can still reach 911 or Shira in an emergency. The backup phone also disappears into a small zippered pocket on my running shorts; so it's ideal for taking on run when I'd like to go ultralight and leave my clunky phone behind.

5. To serve as a 2-Factor Authentication backup device. For critical accounts, like Google or Apple, I like being able to provide my backup phone's cell number as a yet another way to get a one time code delivered to me.

And here's 10 bonus reasons:

  1. To Test out SMS based Tasker routines.
  2. To avoid carrying a flashy phone in a high crime area.
  3. To avoid being a target for hackers.
  4. To experiment with low resolution photography.
  5. To hand to stranger so they can make a call.
  6. To share with someone so we can be temporarily in contact.
  7. To sneakily store names, numbers of other details in the phone's contact section.
  8. To access data stored on an SIM or SD card.
  9. For use as a four function calculator.
  10. To show kids what phones used to be like back in the day.

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