Thursday, March 25, 2010
The robot has come between us
|The other day, I turned on my cell phone to make a call and saw a message on the screen indicating that software updates were being installed. It's happened fairly often lately, and when it does, I completely lose control of my phone. Calls can't come in. Calls can't go out. The screen says, "please wait."
I love my phone. It's cute. It's red. It fits in my pocket. I have a good basic plan that's relatively inexpensive and gives me everything I want. I can get calls, make calls, even take a picture. If I really have to, I can send a text. As a writer, my needs are very simple. I'm usually at my computer where I can get e-mail and surf the Internet. I just want a phone-phone, not an everything-phone. Less is more.
I went to the Sprint store to find out about that "updating" problem that takes control whenever it wants, and learned that since I have a three-year-old phone with a plan that doesn't include any Internet functions, some robot in some databank somewhere keeps trying unsuccessfully to insert software into a device that doesn't know what to do with it. Each attempt fails, but the robot never gets discouraged. It just tries again. And again. And again.
The only solution is to buy a more sophisticated phone and upgrade my plan to one that includes more services. And pay an extra $50 a month. The problem with this is that I don't want more services, and I don't want a more sophisticated phone. And I have better things to do with $50.
Right about now, you're thinking that I'm some kind of dinosaur steeped in ignorance, and that if I only knew how convenient all those added features are, I'd see why limiting myself to antediluvian technology (or something from 2007) is just silly, shortsighted and wrong. I'm not going to argue. I know when I'm beaten. I understand the if-you-build-it-they-will-come philosophy that says once I have all the features, I'll soon wonder how I ever lived without them. Maybe you're right. The handwriting is on the screen.
I loved my phone. Less was more. But alas, I think the romance is over. The robot has come between us.