I am beginning to feel old.

Up until now I have prided myself on being able to get by with all the electronic gizmos that are thrown at me.  I knew one end of a computer from another, could heat up a mug of something in the microwave and was even able to programme my video tape recorder [until they were made obsolete].

But now I have a contraption, and I confess it has me bet.

For the life of me, it has me stumped.

And what is this incredibly complex contraption?  Is it the Large Hadron Collider?  Is it the Curiosity Mars Rover?

Nope.  Neither of those.  They are easy peasy by comparison.

It’s my mobile phone.

Having had it for a few months now, and from playing around with it, I have finally worked out how to make and receive calls.  I am also managing to send text messages but am still a bit confused as it seems a little over complex.  For a start, what is the point of a fucking qwerty keyboard when you can only use one fingertip?  Even if I hold the yoke sideways, the keyboard is still not much bigger than a postage stamp.

And what the fuck is Data Transfer?

I had it for about a week and it stopped working because funds had dried up, even though I had only tried to make a couple of calls.  I checked and found that the fucking thing had been downloading data or some weird shit, so I told it to stop.  Now it bitches every time I switch it on and complains that my Data Transfer is off.  The phone seems to work normally though, so what the fuck use is this Data lark?

I have discovered how to download programmy things, but I use the house network and not G2 or G4 or whatever the fuck it’s called.  I have a little yoke for telling me if there is free wireless broadband anywhere around and another little thingy that tells me what the weather forecast is.

Actually, that weather forecast hickey is quite handy if I suddenly get a desperate urge to know what the weather is doing outside.  It saves me walking to a window, or having to switch on my laptop.  Very neat.  I think.

One thing that infuriates me is that there are several screens of applications [and anyone who calls them ‘apps’ is a fucking moron, in my book], and I can’t get rid of them.  Why the flying fuck would I need Microsoft Office when I can barely type a text message?  I don’t want it [or several space wasters, including games] so why the fuck can’t I get rid of it?

The phone also has a strange habit of rearranging itself.  I go to do something, and the fucking icon has vanished. only to pop up somewhere else when and where I least expect it.  I had it neatly arranged that the first screen contained all my important programmes [like ‘Help’!], the next screen were programmes of a lesser order and I had all the unwanted shit shoved onto the last screen where it wouldn’t annoy me.  Next time I switched the damn thing on, all my careful tidying had been undone.  Again.

I’m beginning to think that I have reached the stage where I will have to ask the Grandchilder for help.

The shame of it.

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Technophobia at last — 20 Comments

  1. Get one of those basic cell phones with large numbers to press (for old folks such as yourself.) Brand name is Jitterbug here and, no, I don’t have one yet.

  2. I agree with you. I had a very simple Nokia for ages which I was perfectly happy with until the company I work for insisted on giving me a bloody ‘Berry thing.
    Fucking useless piece of shit! All I want to do is make and receive phone calls. No more.No less.
    One solution to your phone rearranging itself might be to stop switching it off and on. Just let it slumber.

  3. tt – I confess I was tempted, but those yokes are too close to Zimmer frame territory for my liking.

    Mossy – “Just let it slumber”  Tried that, but it still fucked things up on me.

  4. I have a phone and it’s almost identical to the jitterbug. I picked it up in the Orange shop, in London, about 3 years ago for a fiver. It spends 99% of its time switched off. I loathe them. It’s really an alarm clock for I haven’t bought credit on it for over 2 years. I like my independence. I don’t want to be contacted when I’m in company conversation or when not available. I also have no answer messaging on it or my landline and I’m guessing at 41 I’m far younger than you?
    I enjoy being elusive. I enjoy not having satellites home in on me whenever they want to, thanks to the tracking inside mobile phones. I’m not just becoming more technophobic but moving into luddite territory.

  5. “We” (undisclosed three letter agency) use it to listen in on you. Didn’t you know the microphone was always on. We do wish you have more interesting conversations when you are talking to yourself. We used to leave the camera on too, but people insist on taking their phones into the privy. We really don’t need to see that. We only download the recordings occasionally, but it does seem to use up your data plan rather quickly. 

  6. Welcome Harbinger!  I confess my phone’s greatest feature is its ability to remind me to do things.  A sort of pocket secretary, but not as sexy.  It’s also handy for finding Herself if we go shopping.  She has a habit of getting lost.  As for our ages? Add half as much again!

    tt – I thought everyone wore watches?  I find mine is excellent for telling me what day of the week it is.

    Jim C – Stop pretending to be the CIA.  They already have an account on this site.

  7. I still have my old TracFone I bought in 2007 just to keep in touch with my honey when I was down to Boston having several hernias fixed. And although my hernia surgery prompted me to buy my first and only (non-smart) cell phone I do realize that the two actually have no similarities whatsoever. Still, somehow hernias and cell phones (smart or non-smart) seem oddly related somehow.

  8. Had one of those Blackberry jobbies but really couldn’t see the point. Fucking thing wouldn’t do what I told it to, so I gave it to my youngest daughter when she was here last year. Bought a simple Nokia – one that you can drop in a glass of beer, run over with a car and let fall from a great height and it still works. All that, and it doesn’t look like a JCB either. I’m quite chuffed with it. It makes calls and sends text messages, too! A bonus!

  9. Kirk M – I think I’m on my fourth phone now in the last ten years.  The first three [all Nokias] died the death for various reasons, but none suffered from hernias.  I think one may have had a dislocated hip joint but then I’m no phone expert.  All I want them to do is to wake me if necessary and remind me to put out the bins.

    Nisakiman – Aren’t the Blackberries the yokes with the fiddly fucking keyboard on the front?  People seem to love waving them around, but Jayzus they’d need fierce big fucking pockets?

  10. Remember these yokes – http://www.retrobrick.com/4500x.jpg – when you needed a trolley cart to make it mobile.

    I was working for a datacomms firm when the first car-phones were introduced. It was during the IT heyday and we had one, err, flash git in the office who liked to drive around the M25 (UK) with his XR3i soft-top down, yappin’ away. That changed when a lorry driver landed a hefty dollop of phlegm on his suit trousers! 🙂 Ah, happy times!

  11. One of the sad things about modern technology is that they’re not made to last (by design of course). Another sad symbol of modern consumerism at its worst: You drop it – it breaks – you bring it to the shop – they tell you it has to be sent away to be fixed – you return in about a week – they tell you it can’t be repaired – you end up having to buy a new one. Rresult – more money in the mobile provider’s and (ultimately) in the manufacturer’s coffers. And it’s not just mobiles that are like this! Everything from electric can openers to cars are becoming like this as well.
    Another thing that pissed me off was just how often I was being reminded in the store about how I was entitled to an upgrade deal. Recently I eventually and reluctantly when my old mobile eventually died and got myself a (sigh) TwatBerry. NOW they’re hassling me by text and in the store about switching from pay as you go to Bill Pay. 🙁

  12. Mick – I remember those yokes.  They were the most un-mobile things I have ever seen!

    InisEanna – It always worries me when a repair costs more than a replacement.  The best though are computer printers, where it is often cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy the ink.

  13. I finally got the hang of the text on my IPhone, it is not bad once you get used to it. Still having problems with my email though but I am, slowly, getting to like it.

  14. I was stopped by a miserale oul cunt of a cop a few weeks ago when, at the traffic lights,  I pretended I was talking on an old  1970s house phone, big handset and wires,   which I had sitting in the front seat of the car.

  15. Don’t feel bad. I’ve been a programmer for 25 years and my “smart” phone pisses me off to no end.  Admittedly, smart phones do a lot of things.  Unfortunately about half of those are things you didn’t want done or would never do on a phone.  

    The mistake is to see the techno mouth-breathers moaning over their phones and assume you are missing out on something.  The only thing you are missing out on is getting wood over stroking a piece of glass with a semi-useless computer underneath. If you really want in on the party, drop some Viagra before you make a call.  It will all become clear at that point.

  16. Cliff – My theory is that it started with the old 3 in 1s.  Remember those yokes that were a radio, record player and cassette player all in one?  It started off the rot of making things that do loads of thing they’re no designed for.  And if one part breaks the whole lot has to be junked.  If I want to compute, I’ll use a computer and I don’t see why my phone thinks it should get in on the act.  And those “techno mouth-breathers” [Hah!  I fucking love it] are just a waste of oxygen.

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