Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Update, Upweight

Like most iPhoners I pushed through the latest update. For my thanks of being dutiful to serving the needs of technology my smart(ypants) phone informed me this morning I had averaged 13 minutes of screen time last week.

Excuse me?

Hostility bristled with embarrassment at this information, reminding me of the time our garbage can got knocked over and the neighborhood became privy to all we consumed in our household. The garbage can is now housed in the garage and we take our refuse to the dump ourselves, thank you very much. And the screen time feature is now deleted off my phone, thank you very much.

I realize my privacy is not as sacred as it once was, especially since I caved in and switched over from my flip phone to an iPhone. I would probably still have a flip phone if one of the progeny hadn’t convinced me to sign up to a family plan that included free phones and has a rate so low that nobody, but absolutely nobody can touch. One salesperson thinking he could convince to switch plans, that he improve our rate, paled when he saw how low our plan was and gave me the free earbuds incentive anyway.

I fear we are forever tied to our carrier. On the bright side it gives my kids a reason to talk to me now and then when something comes up about our plan–like can they have the free upgrade. After all, I don’t really use the device. At least not like they do.

‘Tis true.

When I do look over my phone bill I see I hardly use my minutes. I text occasionally. My phone calls involve quick reconnecting: “A couple of errands and then home.” My binge is maybe once a month being on the listening side of a conversation with one of the kids as we catch up on life in one info load, rather than chit chat spread over the days of that month.

My phone is primarily an extension of my laptop. I create lesson plans and school-related documents, grade assignments, correspond, and sometimes write non-school stuff. Like my blog posts.

I am coming to terms with my phone. I resent how it knows so much about me, yet I really like the instantness it provides. Weather, coupons, restaurant locations, definitions, an entertaining YouTube are all a click and thumb swipe away.

There is a constant remiss argument that rumbles within: I do miss flip phones. I do like instant access. However, I do not like how smart alecky my phone has become. Flip phones may not have been that smart but they sure knew how to keep dumb about my business.

I am resigned–I will remain tied to my iPhone, *sigh*–yet, I keep my old flip phone and reminisce. It was so pretty and it had an actually keyboard and didn’t try to autocorrect when I didn’t need it to. It was lighter in so many ways. The weight of the new update is indeed pondersome.

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6 thoughts on “Update, Upweight

  1. Indeed. I feel one can’t get away with the simpler models if one wishes too, though. I intentionally bought a cheaper model when I first converted to a cell phone, and it still tried to do everything the more expensive ones could -it was just terrible at it.

    Wiser the next time around, I paid more for more capacity. I use mine as you have described yet also squander time as I would rather not. There are many days I just wish to bring the whole world back to corded varieties permanently stuck to the wall…

  2. Well, you’re surely right about autocorrect. There is a special place reserved in hell for the inventor of that atrocity.

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