Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm not a technophobe but...

Mobile phones are a necessary evil of the modern world, but frankly they bore me. And nothing marks someone out as inane so much as endless obsessing and talking about new phones.

Now I've realised why this is.

Changing mobile phones is time-consuming. Doing it regularly probably doesn't leave you with much time for outside interests.

My old phone had become increasingly random, which was bad since it was always temperamental. So I took the free upgrade. Its a good thing I have a week off work as there is no way I could fit this around a full time job.

Waiting in all day for the phone to be delivered.
The endless switching, removing and inserting of Sim cards
The hours of charging
Phoning to register the phone.
Not completing the call because it turns out I need to do something else with the Sim card first.
More struggling with the Sim and the battery

I'm surrounded by pieces of phone, old and new, packaging, accessories and instructions that don't quite explain things fully enough.

And that is before I've even attempted to use the new phone, which has more functions than my computer. All I want from it are the basic phone calls and texts, for them to work overseas and for the battery not to need charging constantly.


Roses said...

Yeah, I'm with you on that one. Why does my phone need to surf the internet? Play music? Games? Take pretty pictures and video?

I want the damn thing to work when I want it to for calls and texts.

I know, I'm old fashioned.

tpe said...

You're not (necessarily) old-fashioned, Roses - merely sensible, perhaps?

Hello (again), SandDancer, you have my every sympathy, of course, but I do wonder at your use of the word "necessary" in the first sentence.

I think I would perhaps see (and say) things slightly differently. Mobile phones are an often useful addition to some of our lives, for sure, but they are by no means - nor by any stretch of the imagination - "necessary".

People, perhaps, want to make them feel necessary or may actually believe them to be so, but that's a slightly different thing, no? I'm not sure that I've ever (over)heard a conversation on a mobile phone which could be described, in any way, shape or form, as being either urgent or important or, let's face it, interesting.

It's probably worth re-stressing, though, that I happily accept their potential usefulness in the event of an emergency, say, or some other time where no other means of communication are possible. It's just that I may always fail to see how this makes them "necessary".

Like you, I'm no technophobe (although I remain firmly hopeless at understanding most things computery and, you know, moderny), but I feel utterly depressed when I hear people banging on about this phone or that, as if these things may actually matter. If you can make and receive calls, this seems like enough. All the other stuff is just so much blah. (And don't get me started on texting - or, more precisely, text-speak.)

Kind (and Luddite-scented) regards etc....


SandDancer said...

TPE - I think they have become "necessary" in that it is expected that everyone owns one and it is now expected that people are contactable at all times be at by phone or email or some combination of them.

tpe said...

Hello, Sanddancer. I hope your new job went swimmingly well today.

Yes, I understand what (some) people may or may not expect, I'm just not certain why this means we should bow to their expectations or grant mobile phones the distinction of being "necessary". That's all.

It feels a little bit like a self-perpetuating madness, really, to buy into these fevered expectations. Someone else feels I should be contactable at all times....therefore I will make myself contactable at all times. For me, unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps), this doesn't stand to any sensible reason. I think I'll stick with seeing mobile phones as being occasionally very useful, rather than being absolutely necessary. (Although I understand, for example, that a boss may reasonably expect his or her employee to be contactable during working hours. That seems fair enough.)

I have a feeling we may be talking at cross purposes, however, but thanks for taking the time to respond.

Kind regards etc....


M said...

I am so uncool. I just want my phone to be a phone and nothing more. Try to find one of those on the market these days. ha!