Naked

Don’t worry; the blog is still G rated.

I woke up to a brick this morning.

My smartphone, which has been my constant companion for the past five years, wouldn’t turn on. It had been acting a little less than great for a while now but I was always able to get it to work. Hardest fix might be a complete reboot but that didn’t work this time.

So, before panic set in, I did was any resident of the year 2020 would do and did an internet search. Now, I’m old enough to remember my first phone where a paper clip was all that was needed to perform a reset. Apple has changed all that with multiple button press and holds, standing on one foot, clenching your tongue, and hold your breath for a reset. Now, there are only four buttons but the “experts” all had recommendations for which to press and hold. I tried them all and the blue LED just kind of smirking at me. I tried all the combinations.

Then, life gets in the road … i.e. the dog wants to go for a walk. That doesn’t normally take me off the grid, I can walk and read Twitter messages at the same time. 21st Century skill, don’t you know. But today, it was different. I left the smartphone at home plugged in just in case the problem was power related. That was the first time today I felt naked.

There’s a certain weight in my pocket from the phone that was missing. I was very cognisant of that. I was also becoming aware of the number of times I would reach down and slap my pocket to make sure the phone was there. Today’s slaps were coming up empty.

Upon my return to home I tried again with the buttons and a device that had to have a charge now even if it was dead earlier. No luck. One of the resources had an progressive level of things to do and I was at the bottom/top of it. This last step required sending it in for repair and there was a flat list of prices. The price for a repair of a five year old device was scarey.

Anyway, I had an outdoor COVID coffee scheduled with a good friend so I left the phone plugged in and off I went. I wasn’t two steps from the house when I realized that I was missing something. Deal with it, Doug. So, I hopped in the car and headed into town and the screen on the dash looked naked. There was just one line “Connect a Phone”. Normally, that area would be fully dressed.

I got to the appointed meeting place and sat down. My coffee partner was nowhere in sight. Fifteen minutes later and he still wasn’t there. Then, I started to wonder – had he tried to text me to cancel? Maybe there was something that sidetracked him? How could I contact him? Again, I felt so naked.

He did show up, telling a story of road construction! We had a nice coffee and chat and even witnessed an outdoors graduation from a day care centre. During our conversation, there were a couple of topics that I should know the answer to. Sadly, I couldn’t remember but I reached for that empty pocket to get my phone to look it up.

How could I ever let myself be tied so closely to technology?

Fortunately, there is a place in town that was able to get me fixed up with a new device. My clothes are back on.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

3 thoughts on “Naked”

  1. Doug, it’s like you just had a “day in the life of Aviva.” 🙂 I call it wonderful. You, maybe not so much. 🙂 This makes me think a bit about perspective, while also just enjoying a good story. I’m just glad that you got a phone back in the end.

    Aviva

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  2. Good morning Doug!

    You’ve chosen an interesting metaphor to describe your feelings associated with having a dysfunctional phone. I can’t quite say that I’ve ever had my phone die on me. I have had it run out of charge a few times, if I’ve forgotten to plug it in overnight, or I’ve been making heavy use of the GPS or the camera for an extended period of time during the day. There have been a couple of instances when I have accidentally left my phone at home, so the continual pocket tap you describe is certainly familiar to me.

    However, I have had a few instances over the years where my primary laptop has stopped working, and I would liken that to having a part of my brain suddenly stop working. When a huge amount of work data and personal productivity is dependent upon the functioning of a device, I find that almost everything for me gets put on hold until the computer can get back to work for me.

    Fortunately, this hasn’t been an issue for me for quite a few years. My 2013-era MacBook Pro is still doing everything it needs to do, albeit currently in the “vintage“ category — only one classification away from “obsolete.” However, in years previous to the acquisition of this SSD-empowered device, I did have a couple of instances when the internal hard drive went belly up, or lightning fried the ethernet port on the motherboard, and major challenges like that can certainly impact on one’s productivity. Back then, the solution lay in a road trip to the nearest Apple store (Fairview, just north of the 401 at the Don Valley Parkway) and frequently a return tip the next day (or worse, three consecutive days in one instance) to pick up the repaired device.

    It sounds like your challenge required replacement of your device, but hopefully you are now up and running again, with everything of importance restored from the cloud. There’s no doubt that cloud-based storage and syncing have certainly empowered us to keep access to that which is most important to our day-to-day functioning. However, it also highlights how we have offloaded some functions and memory repositories external to our own brains, thus continuing the tension.

    I’m sure Jamie remembers the way home to his dog bowl without a GPS, and so we can take some solace in that fact that we can as well!

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