Technology is wonderful – when it works. Over the past weeks, it seems every piece of technology in my house has stopped working.
The latest thing was my phone. Like many of us, my life is in my phone. I run my business from my phone and most of my friends live in it. I use it to write emails, to run my diary, to liaise with clients, for social media marketing, for everything. When the screen suddenly went a funny colour and started flickering, I panicked. I hadn’t dropped it; I hadn’t submerged it in water; I hadn’t exposed it to freezing temperatures or the desert sun: there was no reason for it to do this!
I did all the obvious stuff. I did the restart, the soft restart, the hard restart and the restart in safe mode, but my phone kept on flickering.
I rang the phone shop.
“Bring it in right away,” they said.
The expert examined it and looked up with sombre eyes. “I’m afraid it’s not as simple as a screen replacement,” he said. “I can quote you a repair, but it will be expensive.”
I braced myself. “Okay.” Then he mentioned a figure and I felt faint. He looked embarrassed. “I’m sorry,” he said. “A new phone would be cheaper.”
So, I have a shiny new phone.
The thing is, I didn’t want a new phone. I liked my old phone. I had it set up the way I liked, and I knew its little ways. I’ve had to spend time with this new one, setting up all the apps – and remembering all my passwords. All the sounds it makes are different. When I go into settings to make the sounds into my familiar ones, those sounds are not available. I like my phone to ring like an old-fashioned telephone from the 1970s, but the earliest noise I can get on this one is a 1980s ring tone. I have different sounds for my different friends, so I know who has messaged me – but those familiar sounds have disappeared too. I am reassigning sounds, but it’s not the same. I am confused in this new territory.
It is a truism that nothing stays the same and that change is the only constant, but I don’t like it, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. We like the comfortable and the familiar. It’s true my old phone needed a new screen protector, and it had very limited storage, and I needed to constantly recharge it, but it was my phone: a part of me, and I loved it.
New things take time to work out. If we travel, new countries have different customs. New friends have different ways. We need to be flexible and accustom ourselves to the new order.
So, I’m sure I will get used to my new phone. In time it will be my old phone. And then, eventually, I’ll need a new phone. Then the adjustment process will start all over again.