It only took 2 days for the ‘New Phone Nightmare’ to turn me into a very angry, teeth gnashing, chest-thumbing ‘monkey’!
The phone isn’t the nightmare part. The nightmare is the gigabyte quantities of new information I am required to master before I can make the most of all the gadgets, widgets and apps that my new phone offers. (It’s been a while since ‘making a call’ or ‘sending a text’ was all a phone needed to do).
In the space of 45 minutes the very nice young man in the Orange shop had filled my head with more techie information than I usually care to absorb in a year. How, after all, was he to know that he was dealing with a person for whom turning the TV on is a challenge? Don’t laugh, we’ve only had it six months…
I asked him nicely if he could come home with me for 3 days (free board and lodging?) just to help me over the worst of my ‘new phone nightmare’. Oddly enough, he thought I was joking. When the moment of phone transfer came, it felt like he was about to amputate a limb that worked very nicely thank you and fit me with a very high spec replacement which I knew I wouldn’t be able to work fully for at least 6 months… if ever.
But two days in and I have mastered quite a bit: okay so I don’t yet know how to answer the wretched thing but that’s not my fault as it’s only rung twice since Wednesday. But I can text and make calls, I’ve installed 3 ‘apps’, taken photographs, set up an email address and downloaded my music. Not bad going…
So this morning feeling confident and with a clear head, and a calm spirit, I sat down at the computer, hooked up the phone to try to iron out my remaining issues (importing contacts lists and sorting out music into playlists). Within 20 minutes I had become the ‘monkey in front of the keyboard’ and a very grumpy monkey at that.
Why, why, why is it that when you know exactly what it is you want the technology to do, you find yourself in front of a screen that unhelpfully (belligerently?) refuses to offer you the buttons/options you need. And, yes, I did have the online manual open in another screen. It’s so frustrating, so humiliating, so outrageously annoying…
‘Fight or flight’ won’t work in such a situaition. I can’t walk away and taking a mallet to the computer would only be temporarily satisfying. So instead, I sit there and scream, and rant, and huff and take it all out on the first human being who has the misfortune to stray in my direction. This morning this was Matt, who, even half asleep, managed to resolve my playlist problem within FOUR minutes! FOUR minutes – on a programme he’s never seen before. It’s just NOT fair, why can’t I do that???
I don’t think ‘GRRRR’ is a noise made by monkeys but ‘GRRRR’ anyway. I did at least have the good grace to appreciate him. I am just not a person who enjoys working things out: cryptic crosswords, professor Leyton’s DS riddles, all that stuff bores me rigid. If the solution or at least a simple set of instructions are not obviously, my usual route is to give up and move on. Life’s too short. The only thing I’m happy to sit and work at is words (blogs, poems, sermons). I have friend who programmes computers, she will sit for hours and work out the weirdest glitches. Me, I just want a big button on the screen labelled ‘Press here Sheila and I will read your mind!’
Meanwhile, for me the best thing to do is to put the ‘social’ back in ‘networking’ – or as Beatles expressed it, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.
One week before my son’s wedding my new phone arrived and my number was transferred. Having survived this long with a phone that made/received calls/texts and took photos I wondered whether this was very wise. However I took the decision to just master texts and calls until we got back and that seemed to work until I tried to call our friend who was over from Memphis and international numbers were blocked even though she was here in the UK. It didn’t take long to find how to unblock international numbers but it asked for a password which I don’t have. That was the point at which I asked my wife to call her.
Hopefully over the next few months I’ll manage to master mobile data and all the other services that I’m still not sure I need.