Author Topic: A rant about phones  (Read 43 times)

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Offline agate

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A rant about phones
« on: January 15, 2020, 07:11:24 am »

I'm not a fan of cellphones or smartphones.

Some years ago I found a cellphone I could afford--a TracFone where I paid about $6/month. I needed it because pay phones were disappearing in most places, and I sometimes have to call the paratransit system to find out about my ride--why it isn't there when it was scheduled to be, for instance. I can't go looking around for a phone to use because I have to stay where the driver can find me. The driver will wait only 5 minutes for me to show up. Not enough time to dig up a phone somewhere and fumble with it.

The chances are that any phone I'd locate would have all kinds of tiny-print instructions about how to use it, and figuring those out can take a long time. I've had this happen more times than I like to think about.

The government began giving out free cellphones to qualified people some years ago, and I received a free phone that way, replacing my TracFone. Then a couple of years ago this same federal telephone-assistance program was even providing smartphones, and I now have one of those, an Android device. I'm armed with a Dummies book for Android device users, and I spend many spare moments trying to learn more about this phone.

Gee, it takes photos. OK, but all I wanted was a phone. I'm happy with my digital camera that takes pretty good pictures.

It's an uphill battle for me. I'm fairly adept with the desktop PC and even my older iPad but I'd like a pass on these smartphones. It's entirely too easy to dial  the wrong number by mistake. It's too hard to see what's on the screen, and I always use a stylus to navigate on the screen because my hands aren't so very nimble any more.

So I'm still leaving the smartphone off--and turning it on only if I'm out somewhere and need to call transportation. I have to remember that I need to use the phone every 30 days or I'll be cut off from the service. Sometimes I call my  landline number from the smartphone just to go on record as having made a call for that month.

For most calls I use my landline phone, which is a captioning phone for hearing -impaired people, and so I can see the caller's end of the conversation on a clearly visible screen.

Cellphones don't work so well for people who use hearing aids, or at least I haven't found that they do. 

And how handy is a phone that goes out on you--no reception--in some locations where the signal is too weak?

I've been in the middle of a very important conversation (about how much longer I'll have to wait for  a ride--to me that's "important") and suddenly there's no sound.  Hey! We were talking!!!

I have neighbors in this housing complex for seniors who routinely carry their phones in their pockets all the time, and in case they fall and need help, they can just use their phones. That sounds like a handy feature and I've thought about using it. But the smartphone is so heavy I wouldn't want it weighing me down, and I'm apt to drop things too. It's not good to drop a phone even though I've already dropped this smartphone any number of times. I've just been lucky that I haven't broken it. The Dummies book goes into some detail about what you can do if you break your phone. Not fun.

I've been at meetings here in this building where people's phones are chiming and buzzing and cheeping. Has anyone thought of putting together an orchestra consisting of the ringtones on these phones? Maybe there'd be some interesting harmonies....

Sometimes the people even answer the phone right in the middle of a meeting but usually they have the courtesy to silence it or to leave the room to take the call.

For centuries we got along without needing to be in touch with other people constantly. I don't understand why suddenly so many people absolutely have to be perpetually connected to their friends and family. Are all of these people THAT important?

There was a time when the only such connectedness you saw was an occasional beeper worn by an occasional doctor that sometimes sounded in an emergency but the understanding was that since the doctor was doing such an essential job (saving lives), that beeper was necessary for a doctor on call to be able to connect to some emergency situation-- probably a life-or-death matter.

Those are the people who really need to be connected. The rest of us don't. Not that connected.

There's e-mail, folks! There's the old landline phone. There's even (wonder if you've heard of it?) snail mail even though the price of a stamp is skyrocketing and you do usually have to lick the stamp.

No, your activities are not so important that you need to be in touch with everyone you know at all times. You need time to collect yourself, focus on the task at hand. Without interruptions.

And as for carrying on phone conversations while roaming the aisles of stores or walking on public sidewalks (or how about CROSSING STREETS with oncoming traffic?), please give it up, folks.  Entirely too many of you have bumped into me because you weren't paying attention.

I won't even get started on drivers who are on their phones while driving.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 04:46:25 pm by agate »
MS Speaks--online for 14 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.


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