O2 network outage: the upside of downtime – leader comment

Users are unable to access the internet. Picture: Getty
Users are unable to access the internet. Picture: Getty
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When you are used to having a world of data at your fingertips, it’s sudden disappearance can seem like, well, the end of the world.

And yesterday millions of smartphone users lost their data services after O2 experienced technical problems.

Clearly, this may have had serious consequences for those who rely on instant access to information for work. However there are some upsides from this sudden loss of contact with the internet.

One is that it reminds us of how significant the internet has become to our daily lives, underlining the need to ensure our information systems are protected from cyberattacks.

READ MORE: O2 network outage: Millions of customers hit by technical fault

Also, the lack of access to social media is, as Jim Duffy points out on this page, not always a bad thing. Living in the moment and interacting with the people around you, rather than those far away, is good for us.

And a lack of a smartphone to stare at constantly while out and about, means we are forced to look about us, to take in the real world, to see things we’d otherwise miss – a crow playing in the wind, a cat looking to be stroked, a funny scene we wish we could have filmed then tweeted... oh dear ...

READ MORE: An hour’s the limit for happy smartphone-addicted teens