Thursday, February 24, 2011

Technologically Challenged!

My mobile rings... keeps ringing! I look at it with suspicion!

No, I don't suspect a blackmailer or an obnoxious caller at the other end! I just am not sure which  button to press to answer the call! The green one.. I decide! But somehow a red window pops up that says " Call rejected"!! Now, how did that happen I wonder?

This friends, has been my state since last Saturday when I became the proud owner of a Nokia C7 touch screen mobile! I remember my visit to the shop. I had decided I would buy a "functional" phone, something like the five year old relic that I had with me .. but the salesman and my husband both convinced me to go for this "smart phone" and here I am wondering how I should go about learning to use it. Please dont tell me to read the manual- a person like me who cannot even follow a recipe finds manuals completely useless!

I ask my husband to call me- he does but the name display does not show. So I run back to the shop. The twenty something boy who sold me the phone looks at me with pity-" Ma'm your numbers must have been stored on your old phone and not on your sim. Please give me the old phone". I take it out from the depths of my bag. He looks at it as though he has seen something pre historic- "How old is this phone"? I tell him. He looks shocked! "Ma'm you mean you have not changed your phone in five years?"  " No" I tell him- not even when it fell into a pot of sambar- I just wiped it and continued talking into it...! He looks at me with new interest. I stare back.

I come back and try to send a text message to a friend. He replies " Why have you sent me a blank message?"  Did I?

I try to get into face book and announce my new aquisition on my wall. The letters seem very small. I rub my fingers across the screen as I was taught to do and suddenly I feel that I am looking through a magnifying glass- only one word is visible. I try to minimize it and after a lot of struggle succeed. My sister comments on my wall post " So you like your own comment?"

My daugther comes back from school and grabs the phone.. she quickly figures out how to make a call and is on the line with her friend. I look at her with respect! She starts clicking snaps and arranging them in a collage to make a screen saver..! My god.. why cant I do what a thirteen year old is doing so effortlessly?

I think there must be something genetic about this challenged state.. I remember two years ago when I had gifted my father a new mobile for his birthday. I had taken his old one away and bought a slightly advanced version of the same phone- the poor man was really upset!  Even after two years of using his phone he finds it difficult to access his list of contacts from the phone book -so what does he do? He has a physical phone book into which he writes down the numbers and types them out! The last I heard , he was complaining to my brother in law that his daugthers have not taught him how to text messages..!

I think technology is changing so fast that challenged people like us often find it difficul to keep pace with the evolution. Or may be I am just getting too old..!

I dread the era of voice commands.. what would I do if I get a cold  or lose my voice due to a sore throat? When a touch is causing so much of confusion a voice could wreak a lot more by way of havoc!

But I love the interest that this new phone is generating at my work place. Everyone wants to know the features and I tell them things like - it has a camera, internet etc.. They listen to me patiently and then look up on the internet and tell me " Ma'm it has a 8 pixel ( or is it mega pixel?) camera, it is 3G.. blah blah...". Suddenly someone asks me " Did your husband gift you this phone?"

 "No my dear friend I tell him " I  brought this upon myself.. all by myself" ...!!!

15 comments:

KParthasarathi said...

That is one hilarious piece.Thanks:))

Christopher said...

The kind of challenges you face are common to most users of new gadgets and especially application software. With my own small experience as a developer I can say that whenever an end user is confounded, its a failure of those who designed the user interface. UI developers are notorious at believing that they know best and this happens even in some of the biggest IT entities, a notable example being Microsoft. User interfaces are supposed to be intuitive, logical and as close to real life experiences as possible but they are also a challenge to the developer.

But there is a thrill in exploring and discovering new features. This process of discovery is itself an added bonus and makes the struggle worth it.

Last but not the least, you may have bought it all by yourself but who helped you decide on this real WOW phone? Give some credit to him.

anindita said...

Loved this piece.....very familiar also. I have seen our parents fighting with the gadget. Ma still does not know what to do when a ad-message pops up and my father in law still maintains a physical diary. A person who had been here for training, when asked to put his phone in the silent mode, embarassingly switched off the phone, saying that his son had handed over the phone for the tour so that he could be in touch and that he did not know how to put it in the silent mode.

And meanwhile, my six year old baby wants a touch-screen mobile!

meerasrajan said...

Well I can say that there were three men who deserve the "credit" for influencing my decision- the first ofcourse was the salesman at the UNIVERSAL showroom , 2nd was my "better" half and the 3rd was the good friend who has asked me to mention who influenced me!

But seriously guys they should have a trianing for people like me who are "all thumbs" with any kind of technology.. ani I also switch off my mobile because I dont know how to turn this into the silent mode ( i did not know how to even in my old mobile:-)

anindita said...

Oh Meera! My good wishes..you have more challenges than I imagined! Sigh!!!

Bikramjit said...

He he he he :) nice one

and that c7 is a good fone I need one of those he hehe What i have found is we buy the latest fone and use the features for a couple of days aand then the fun goes away ...

Bikram's

Christopher said...

There is something consistent about gadgets and their manuals. After you understand how a feature works, you understand what the manual says about that feature.

Vijay Menon said...

ha I beat you in this regard, I am a proud owner of a phone which is nearly 7 years old :D

http://vj-menon.blogspot.com/

Vijay Menon said...

ha I beat you in this regard, I am proud owner of a phone which is almost 7 years old and despite repeated offers from my dad I just can't leave that :D

http://vj-menon.blogspot.com/

IRFANUDDIN said...

ha haa... enjoyed the write up....
its quite common scenario these days, people do have latest gadgets with them but seldom know its features....
C7 is indeed a good model, so have fun with it.

Haddock said...

Ha ha , one of the reasons I hesitate to buy a new one. So many buttons (or lack of button)
As for falling in the sambhar nd wipe it nd continue talking, I actually witnessed a guy who was driving a 2 wheeler with one han (obviously taling on the phone with the other hand) And a dog came across and he could not control the vehicle, skided and fell down and guess what , he had the cheek to continue talking......probably telling the guy on the other end that he will have to hang up now.....

Anita said...

Entertaining and familiar post! I often have to ask my daughters (15, 12, & 10) how to use the features on my cell phone and my i-Pod. And, I have to teach my 77 year old mother how to get information from Google. As you mentioned, things continue to evolve. The young replaces the old.

Thank you for visiting my blog and telling me some things about tattoos and Indian culture. Please visit again. :)

justjoxy said...

Very entertaining post, I chuckled about your old phone falling into some food, and the FB comment. I guess what you only need to master what you want to use the phone for for now, with time, you'll get to discover the other functions too. Enjoy! :)

dr.antony said...

First time here and I loved it.
Life is becoming complicated with these devices,or rather,we make it so.
last week,I bought a phone and my ear started aching.The salesman said'it is 'dual sim' and so,you must use headphones.I don't have the patience to fix it all the time,and so I returned it.
I settled on a 200 dh phone. Cool. I can make calls and receive as well !

PURN!MA said...

hehehe... i can totally imagine ur plight. my dad bought me a Nokia N97 when I was perfectly happy with my self-bought with self-earning Sony phone. he insisted I use it on daily basis bcz it had "features". Good Lord! I had a fit trying to understand the basic feature of making a call and by the time i got to it, the battery died and I couldn't call home to say I have left the office!

I am technologically challenged too. I was up to it only till bluetooth. after that i draw a blank. i have no idea what 3G and 4G mean! Gosh!

Post a Comment

 
;