WARNING! multiple rants ahead

I thought I was going to have a great day today. I was looking forward to showing you some pictures of the pet emu wandering around Lavandula Farm [the setting for the wedding on the weekend]. I was particularly pleased with these photos as I’d taken them with my Samsung Galaxy S II mobile phone!

Before I go on I should explain that my daughter and I have had these phones for about 6 months now and neither of us knows how to use them properly. She knows the bare basics, but until the weekend, I didn’t even know how to answer an incoming call.

I can almost see the looks of horror and disbelief on your faces,  but you see,  I am used to buttons acting like buttons, and the important ones on this phone aren’t buttons at all. Just learning that was a huge breakthrough. I knew I was supposed to swipe the screen to answer a call, but I didn’t know I had to swipe across the buttons, instead of just swiping anywhere on the screen. So sometimes it worked, and most of the time it didn’t. And because I use the phone so rarely, I never had the opportunity to see a pattern emerging.

For those of you who haven’t experienced the joys of touch screen living, I found this youtube video that will show you what I mean.

Anyway, I have loathed this phone for 6 months and have used it [successfully] about three times. I rarely go out and when I do, the phone only comes with me  in case the car breaks down or something. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Twenty-six years ago I had a tiff with my husband. I waddled my 7 month pregnant body to the car and took off in a huff. It was about 9 o’clock at night and I was just driving aimlessly when… the car ran out of petrol. I was in some kind of industrial looking area and the only light I could see came from this house? warehouse? tucked behind huge wrought iron gates.

The gates were open so I walked in. I went around the back and found a guy working on a motorbike. I used to ride motorbikes, and I still love them, so we had a nice little conversation,  and then he very kindly let me use his phone to ring the Husband. All ended well, but I was never allowed to live down the fact I’d waddled into a Hell’s Angels club house by mistake.

So I’ve learned the value of having a mobile phone, but only for emergencies.  I don’t like chatting on my phone. I don’t listen to music on it. I don’t send emails on it. I don’t tweet on it, or look up restaurants, or check addresses. It’s… Just. A. Phone.

Getting back to my rant, a friend showed me how to use the camera function [and a heap of other functions] while we were waiting for the Bride to make her Grand Entrance. Like a kid with a new toy, I thought I’d finally found a use for The Beast!

Fast forward to this morning. I found the USB cord for the phone, hopped on the net and found some nice, detailed instructions on how to upload my lovely photos to the PC. Great, right? Wrong. None of the menu items in the instructions corresponded to the items on my menus. What the…?

Then I stumbled across another tip that said I could just email the photos to myself. So I found the email function on the phone and laboriously entered my email address and password into the app.

Now, I have small hands, okay? But I grew my nails for the wedding. Do you think I could key that stuff in properly? It was hell, especially the password. But I persevered. And then, when I finally got it right, something else turned out to be ‘wrong’. That was the point at which I gave up.

I hate this phone. I hate its user interface. I hate the assumption that everyone will be able to work it out ‘intuitively’. Hah. I hate the fact that things that look like buttons don’t work like buttons. I hate the lack of logic to it. I hate that I have to be shown how to do the simplest things like a child being taught how to use a spoon. And most of all I hate that this is the way of the future.

About ten years ago I owned a very, very small business teaching Baby Boomers how to use PC’s. So many of them had avoided learning computers in the 80’s and 90’s and now they were getting left further and further behind.

I told my clients the learning curve was worth it because it would give them mental freedom, and a sense of digital community even as time  stole their physical freedom.

I still believe in the power of the internet, and in the need to stay mentally fit and active, to learn and embrace new challenges. That is why I own this freakin’ mobile phone. I don’t want to become a little old lady who’s scared of new gadgets, and becomes horribly isolated because of that fear.

I am determined to master this phone of mine, and I will, eventually. But I am never going to stop hating it, or Apple for coming up with this monstrous innovation in the first place. It may be the way of the future, but I hate it.

I am not even a little bit happy at the moment. 😦


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

35 responses to “WARNING! multiple rants ahead

  • JeriWB

    I feel your phone rage, but I have to admit I love my iPhone. I resisted getting a cell phone for longer than most, and my first cell was a flip phone, but it never really grew on me. Then the “evil” iPhone arrived in my life just over two years ago, and we’ve been best buds ever since. The irony being I rarely use it to make calls…


    • acflory

      lol – I’ve resisted the internet aspects of phone usage since my Kyocera kept roaming in my handbag and left me with a HUGE bill. My Galaxy S II only has 250 MB allowance per month and we all know how little that is. So I don’t use any of those features.


  • jezzanorris86

    all you need is ask….i’ll email you something later


  • geooorge

    Odd. I saw another Android based samsung phone that when you go a call, you didn’t have to swipe anything.
    The screen went blank with two huge buttons; one green that said “Answer” and a red one that said “Decline”.
    Consistency Samsung, consistency!


    • acflory

      Maybe that’s a later model? With a kinder interface. 😦
      Now that I know how to do it I’m answering calls without any problems but I resent how much time and effort it took to get to this point. -sigh- And I still don’t know how to upload my photos. 😦


  • quirkybooks

    I am so sorry you hate your phone so much. As the song says, if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you are with. Does that apply to phones too? I got a Samsung Galaxy Mini last year and I have to say that as a touch-phone it can be rather annoying at times because my ear can accidentally touch the off button on the screen and I have cut several people off in this way, then had to apologise. It’s
    been in for repair twice. One time was because it couldn’t cope with the amount of aps on there and I thought that is what is was designed for! I don’t think SMART phones are that smart.


  • Rebecca "Sweet Mother" Donohue

    i just LOVED this post. you may have been annoyed by this, but it makes absolutely hilarious, GREAT, reading. we all get crazed by technology sometimes. wifesy tries to do something on her computer for about 5 seconds, then yells at it, and hands it to me while yelling, “HERE.FIX.BROKEN.NO.” it reduces a doctor to near incoherence. loool. ohhhhhhh, but how enjoyable it was to read, meeks. and i LOVE that you walked into a hell’s angels club. hey, those guys can be mighty helpful. 😉 looooollll. xoxo, sm


    • acflory

      -grin- I confess that’s one of my favourite stories. And yes, he was really nice. A touch baffled perhaps. I guess they don’t get too many pregnant ladies wandering in. But he was just a nice, ordinary guy who happens to love bikes… a lot. 😉

      So glad you enjoyed the post. Just wish I could write funny on purpose. 😉


  • Candy Korman

    Ah the mysterious nature of our relationship with technology. Its it magic? Almost…


    • acflory

      lol – it felt like black magic yesterday! I’ve discovered something about myself though – when I get really frustrated and blow off steam, the next step is almost always UP. I actually managed to answer a call today. Of course it was a wrong number, but that’s how fate works. 🙂


  • josh

    I recently switched from Android to an iPhone. There are some things I miss about my Android, but there are others I much prefer on the Apple. For example, the slidey button thing isn’t so much a problem. When a call comes in there’s a “button” with an arrow pointing to the right, and text that says “Slide to answer”. Pretty clear. The sliding mechanism isn’t intuitive or obvious if you haven’t done it before, and Apple does a better job of making it a no brainer.

    Good luck mastering your phone. You can do it!


    • acflory

      lol – don’t tell me that Josh! I can’t afford an iPhone. I guess I’ll just have to grit my teeth and master the beast I’ve got. I’m really tempted to do a whole ‘how-to’ on the basics coz I know I’m not the only one needing help.


  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Ah, but how are the pics? I only use my mobile for emergency calls like ‘hey, don’t forget to pick up cucumbers”. It’s still an old flip phone but has a ton of functions I never plan to learn to use. You’re singing my song for sure.


    • acflory

      That’s one of my gripes Yvonne – the pics are great! As in, better than what I can achieve with my Canon Coolpix camera. I want them!

      -sigh- I’m feeling so nostalgic about my old flip phone. I didn’t use most of the functions either, but the ones I did use always worked in a nice, logical way.

      Maybe we should start a choir? lol


  • metan

    Stupid phone 😦 I am sure the photos are still in there somewhere….

    I have a non-smart phone, I’m old school and only want it for calls and sms.

    I hate to side with Apple but I think it is every other companies interpretation of the swipy screen stuff that is awful.
    I don’t have an iphone but I have an ipod (actually, a few different types) and their swipy screen stuff seems to be more intuitive that the phone that is torturing you.

    Try not to kill anone with it when you chuck it through the window in a temper! 😉


  • lorddavidprosser

    I have an old Samsung phone which is great. A good camera that saves to a mini SD card which I can put into my computer to download the pics and a great facility for sending text messages which I love.So much better than speaking to people as you can say the text came at an awkward time to answer straight away, and do it at leisure. I’ve never turned on the internet facility for emails even. The bliss of not having to learn complicated things at my age.


    • acflory

      Dear Methuselah, I had one of those older style Samsung flip phones and I loved it. I wish now I’d just bought another one when the old one died. -sigh- Enjoy your phone…


  • Jennifer

    Haha, I’m on my second smart/stupid phone and although they at the same brand, the technology is so much more. I had to download a manual to figure out ow to do certain things. Unlike kids (like mine) I am not so good at just picking things up. Then hubby got a newer one of the same brand and showed me more things to do… Argh. At least my son got to show his grand,other how to do things as they have the same phone. (I also had the same problem worth my iPad, no instructions) I hope you get your photos up, phones are pretty good pics these days 🙂


    • acflory

      lol – Sorry I have to laugh. So glad I’m not completely on my own. I have a Coolpix camera that is easy to use but doesn’t take pics as good as the damn phone. -grinds teeth-


  • Honie Briggs

    This was me twenty-five minutes ago trying to program the stupid Roku device to get my photo gallery on the TV. GAAAAAHH. Just what we need, one more remote control ! Half the time when I press the power button the damn TV won’t come on and my husband thinks he has to “explain” to me how to use the remote. I know exactly what you mean, techNOlogic!


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