The Trouble With A Phone Being So Smart

imageThere is one thing for sure I can tell you about smart phones, they can make one feel…not so smart. My husband and I both needed to upgrade our phones. I had a Samsung slide key phone, his flip-phone was so old, I assumed it came to America on The Mayflower. A local Verizon dealerships ran a special. “Get a brand new Samsung Android 4G smart phone, worth hundreds of dollars, FREE with a two year contract.”

What’s there not to like about that? We rushed to the nearest Verizon store and got our new phones. We both felt like we found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! These phones do everything. They’re really a miniature computer. We were nearly blinded by the halo of possibilities circling our new phones.

We both knew it would take some getting used to, but after 45 days, I am still not getting used to it. Either is my husband. With my older phone, all I had to do was press, #3 to call him and voila! Like magic, the call went through! It worked great for a quick call while I was on the road. But, with the Android, you actually have to press the side button to wake the napping phone, swipe the screen to unlock it, then press the picture of the little green handset to pull up the keyboard, then I can press #3. A driving hazard, even for very careful drivers.

The first week I had the phone I wanted to call my husband while I was driving. (Perfectly legal in our state) After all the extra steps to get to the keyboard, I realized I hadn’t put in the quick-dial number for him yet. “No problem,” I thought. I waited till I got to a stop sign and pulled up the contacts, found hubby’s number, touched the green handset and the phone began ringing. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the hyper-touch-screen. Next thing I know, I am on a three-way-call with my husband and the guy who installed our bay window. GRRRRR! Right below the regular green handset, there is another identical handset for conference calls. Sheesh, you’d think they would have placed that icon for that feature just a little bit farther apart than a finger’s width.

I stopped at the phone store and talked to one of the assistants. “No, there is no way to slow the sensitivity. You just have to keep in mind it does have a very sensitive screen.” She says.

Another thing I greatly miss about my slide key phone is that you can practically see the voicemail icon from across the room. Our new Android phone has a minuscule icon at the top right corner of the phone, one has to look twice to see it.

Back to the sensitivity. The Android screen is so hyper-sensitive you can be on a phone call to one person, barely touch the screen with your fingertips and find yourself in the middle of another completely unrelated application without a clue of what you did. I have unintentionally hung up on people but worse yet, unintentionally called someone I have not talked to in a while then quickly hung up before anyone answered. It’s very awkward when they call back. “Hi, I saw you called.”

I accidentally called my cousin past one in the morning once, as I was silencing the ringer before I went to bed. I thought I caught it right away and hung up before it even rang. Not so. The next morning I had three texts, and two worried calls from him. “Are you okay?” “Is everything okay?” I was horrified.

I asked my husband what he thought about the phone while writing this. “Huh! We don’t have enough time to discuss that. They pack way too much into this phone!” I agree. The phone has wonderful apps for those who want all that a computer has to offer, but for those who simply want a phone-kind-of-phone, it is too much. Maybe it’s just us. We were both missing our old phones.

This new phone is supposed to be fast and efficient and texting is supposed to be quicker, right? NO! The text keys are almost as minuscule as the VM icon. “That shouldn’t really be a problem since it has a built in microphone and you can speak your text!” I told myself when I was looking at the tiny text keys at the phone store. The speak-your-text concept got me really excited. To be able to voice-text without messing with the keys! SOLD!

A week ago my cousin texted me the crown fell off his molar. I was sending him back a quick voice-text telling him to go see a dentist right away, then checked it before I sent it. Sure enough, the text said: “Go see Dennis right away!” Who’s Dennis? I texted my daughter this weekend. “I roasted garlic cloves, with olive oil and they were sure delicious!” She texts back, “Huh? You said I am delicious?” I looked at the text. It says, “I broasted some um garlic cloves um olive oil, gosh you’re delicious!” Whaaat? Wow, that may have gotten me in trouble had it been someone else.

Okay, so now it takes me twice as long to send a text with my new SMART phone because I have to edit what the microphone picks up, and that can be any nearby noise or words anyone else may say while the recording the text.

The funniest thing happened when I first started using that microphone texting. It literally picked up everything including all ums and uhs. I thought this was so funny I laughed and laughed halfway through the text, then went into laughing spasms when I looked at the text and it said, “Hahaha, hahaha, hahaha!” What a smart aleck phone!

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