My mobile telephonic device, she is busted. This makes me sad.
It couldn’t have happened at a worse time, either. I was just stepping onto the train that would carry me on the first leg of my journey home (well, to my parents’ home, really) for the weekend when I discovered that my phone had decided enough was enough. It was a strange moment for me. I haven’t been mobile-phoneless for about fifteen years – which is scary, when you think about it – and, of course, the trains I took both ended up running late (this is Ireland, after all), which delayed my arrival. For the first time in a very long time, I was unable to contact anyone to let them know. I could send no texts, receive no texts, make no calls. For four hours, nobody I knew could speak to me. It was weird. If aliens had chosen that moment to appear out of the clouds and abduct me, my family would never have known. If I had been inspired in that moment to tap out a particularly beautiful text message to a loved one, it would have had to go unsent. Truly, it was a tragedy of the technological age.
As well as my train-journeying, I was supposed to be meeting some old schoolfriends over the weekend. Naturally, then, I needed my phone in order to make plans, change plans, break plans, or whatever. ‘Typical,’ I fumed, raging at my phone’s tiny screen. ‘You work fine for months on end when I don’t really, truth be told, need you; just when you become indispensable, you decide to go belly-up!’ Somewhere in there is an important life lesson, even if I haven’t quite separated it out from all the crimson fury just yet. I was surprised at the depth of my own anger, to be honest. It seems silly that a small lump of plastic and glass could have such an effect on me, but there you are. It did.
And so, of course, my phone will have to be replaced. But the question is: what with?
So far into my telephonic life, I have resisted the lure of the smartphone. I have no need for such a device, I tell myself; all I want from a phone is the ability to make and take calls, and to send and receive text messages. I don’t want a phone which can run my life for me (despite the fact that I have trouble running it myself, sometimes), which is smarter than I am, or which is able to tell me what the weather is like in Kuala Lumpur at the drop of a hat. I am a troglodyte, and I want my phone to match. The phone I had – the one which has just broken – was a pretty ordinary model, but it did have a touchscreen, upon which its functionality depended; this touchscreen is the part which is now broken, which renders the whole thing useless. (This doesn’t sound all that smart, to me.) The phone I had before this one was a standard Nokia ‘brick’ – pretty much indestructible, easily able to survive being dropped down stairs or sat on for prolonged periods or being stored carelessly in a pocket – and I had it for about six years, without a problem. I was persuaded to ‘upgrade’ to the slightly fancier model less than a year ago, and now I find myself in my current predicament. In a way, this is entirely as it should be. Show me something sparkly and technological, and I bet I’ll have it broken (accidentally, of course) before the day is out.
It’s a strange situation, this. When I come to replace my broken phone, I am pretty sure that I will have to go with a smartphone. Phones are pretty much all morphing into mini computers, these days; it’s not easy to get a phone that just does phone-stuff, and none of the Personal Assistant-stuff. However, the ‘smarter’ a phone is, the more vulnerable it is, don’t you think? The more likely it is to break, or throw a hissy-fit, or be stolen, or sat on (because its flashy ultra-slim case is impossible to see, and it’s too light to make any sort of impression in your pocket, leading you to forget it’s even there at all); the more moving parts it has, the more likely it is to give you a nervous breakdown, is my philosophy. So, truly, the least smart thing I could do is purchase myself a smartphone.
I have a feeling that’s exactly what I’ll be doing, though. I won’t have a choice in the matter. It’ll be a case of ‘go smart, or go home.’
So, today will be about bowing to the inevitable, and spending uncomfortable amounts of money on something at which I will squint, and mumble, and swear under my breath for months to come. Occasionally, perhaps, I will make a call on it or send a message, though this remains to be seen. In a way it’s sad that my new phone will be a piece of technology more powerful than the rocket which brought men to the moon; I will probably use it for scheduling the time at which I get out of bed in the morning and for throwing irritable feathered things at stupid porcine things. I just hope I get slightly more than a year out of it, or there will be trouble…
On the upside, it might make checking my online life (swiftly growing more interesting than my real-life life) a bit easier, and I’ll certainly be able to keep you all apprised of any impending alien abductions.
I hope you all had wonderful weekends, stress-free and technologically unchallenged, and that you’re fresh and ready for a new week. Happy Monday!