Archive for the ‘Damn Technology — I Will Not Be Defeated’ Category

A Textadextrous Relationship

December 19, 2008

A friend has been engaged in one of those relationships that defies the bounds of common sense and emotional well-being. You know, the kind that’s so epically heart-wrenching it makes Romeo and Juliet look like amateurs. But, being of Generation Crackberry, she’s conducting her version mainly via text message. To wit:



Re: So much for a communication moratorium with Mr. Oates

Holy shit. My cell phone bill shows 1397 text messages last month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Re: Verizon hates you!

I’ve sat here for at least four minutes trying to find words. There are none.

Wait, I take that back. I am articulate again.

First, must we revisit the concept of communication moratorium?

Second, how about we translate that number into man hours? Let’s say 1,000 of those texts were to Mr. Oates. And erring on the side of ultra, ultra, ultra conservatism, let’s assume each text took one minute to compose. But who are we kidding? That sort of verbal parlay, the utter masterpiece that was each text response, can’t be accomplished in a mere 60 seconds. We’ll give each one 90.

Now you gotta double everything because you were actually responding to incoming texts as well.

And from that number, add a third of the total time to account for the recent introduction of gChatting into your relationship.

Plus, maybe throw in an additional fourth for various other forms of communication like the miscellaneous email and sporadic lunch dates and goggle-eye-making.

So now, I want you to take that whopping big number and square it. That will account for hours outlaid in general emotional anguish, cry time, and the over analysis of all aspects of the relationship.

I don’t do math. That’s why I’m Lawyerly. But even my number challenged mind knows it all adds up to A HELL OF A FREAKING LOT of time spent on cyber communication. In the future, please honor Alexander Graham Bell and pick up the phone. It takes less time and spares you from early onset carpal tunnel.

I Will Now Be Communicating By Smoke Signal

October 23, 2008

My phone has been a trooper. Over several years, it survived three toilet incidents, Bionic Kitty’s attempt at consumption, an accidental drop down Chez Apartment’s garbage chute, and my crazed fan girl text messaging during Gossip Girl. But on Monday night, it stopped working. This has occurred before and I’ve learned the fix is a new battery. So on Tuesday morning, I dutifully went to Verizon and requested a replacement. The fine sales folks took a look at my phone, shook it a bit and said there might be bigger issues this time. Feeling a bit uneasy, I went to the Service Counter. The Service guy played with it for awhile, pushing buttons and shaking his head. Eventually, he told me told the phone itself was the problem. Basically, it had gone to Electronics Heaven and nothing, not even a new battery, was going to make it better. The Servicer compared it to the “blue screen of death,” but for phones.

So, I left the store, headed to The Place of Lawyerly Things, and started researching. After some serious interneting, I narrowed my options to two: a pink Blackberry or the LG Voyager. Over lunch, I went back to Verizon to actually hold the phones and push the buttons. For twenty minutes, I simulated texting, answering calls, and I even stretched the security cords as long as they would go so I could “lose” the phone in my purse and see how long it took to fish from the vortex. Eventually, I went with the Voyager. The Blackberry just had too many overtones of “Lawyerly,” even if it was pink and shiny. Plus, the Voyager call plan was cheaper.

I’ve had way over 48 hours with my new phone and I still can’t make it work. Every time I try to answer the phone, I somehow don’t. It rings, I push the touch screen and ask, “Can you hear me? Hello? Hellllooo? Hellloooooooohhhh?” By the third time they call back, I usually manage to pick up. But even then, I’m still not hitting the answer area on the touch screen. In desperation, my approach has become a bit more “complete coverage.” I just put my whole hand on the phone’s touch screen and sort of swirl it around, like rubbing a genie’s bottle. Seems all that contact confuses the phone and it just sends the call through. Yep, that’s me, outsmarting technology.

It also took several hours to recreate most of my phonebook. I was working from the 2003-2005 phone and my Outlook, and eventually I got most of it. But even with a contact list in place, that darn touch screen is still having its way with me. When I try to select a name from the list, it’s like jabbing at a possessed rolodex. The screen keeps moving and my finger keeps missing. I even broke out the Tips and Hints Book to walk me through recalibration, but um, if I can’t hit the screen in the right place to start with, how am supposed to hit the screen to select the calibrate option?

I also can’t figure out how to get on the internet, how to retrieve my email, the GPS function, or the alarm clock. Frankly, I am about two steps away from just throwing the thing in the toilet. It seemed to work the bugs out of my last phone just fine.