I Want My Stupid Phone | JIM FURLONG

The Luddites are helpful to me here today by way of explanation.

The Luddites were odd bands of English textile workers in the early 19th century. They thought it was a clever idea to destroy their own machinery in the wool and cotton mills of England. Why did they do that, you ask?  They did it to protest advancing technology. The Luddites felt their world was being overtaken by that technology because an expanding technological expertise was threatening their jobs. That is why they broke up the machinery. I am no Luddite! I embrace technology, mostly anyway.
The exception is in the newest version of the invention that changed our world and the modern workplace. It is the cell phone. The problem is that I do not understand my cell phone which is “as smart as all get out”. It can do anything but that includes a whole bunch of things I neither want nor need. All I desire is a phone where someone can call me, and I will answer. Because of my work in news I was in the vanguard of cell phone use. When the phones came out on the market, we had them early in the game. It was great. They were about two pounds each and bulky, but they kept us in touch. What they did was make us work harder. The workday, which had started at 8 or 9 a.m. now started as soon as you started your car. You started work while driving to work and you did not even have to get to the office to check your mail. It made the work easier but certainly the working day was longer.

The problem now is the phone itself and what it can do.  It does so much that I never asked for. It can open a garage door or turn on the lights in the house. It can work out a schedule for me.  It can answer questions. It can pay my bills and carry around my tunes. The issue, though, is that it does too much. I just wanted a phone not something that runs my universe. I do not need maps to get to work. I do not need to know the birthday of everyone I ever knew. I do not want to waste time with birthday wishes for people I barely know. I know my wife’s birthday and my children’s. At least I think so.

I want my phone to be a phone and to ring in a way I understand. I say that because in my phone the ring changes for different people. That tells me who is calling which, theoretically, is a marvellous feature except I will absolutely KNOW who is calling as soon as I answer the phone which is not that hard. That is my beef except to share with you that the chimes on our new dish washer sound like a ring on the telephone. There is also a ring when the fridge door is left open that sounds just like the ring from one of the chaps I play golf with.

Overall, I want my old phone back.