Is this progress?  Only your smartphone knows for sure

How can I have a problem with a machine that does all of these things?

It’s the phone part of the smartphone that I hate. Here’s why: I don’t like talking about it. I don’t like the feeling of pressure in my ears. I don’t like the way you can hear better in some places than others, how words are cut short when walking from room to room, how calls are dropped, and how many people walk around in public and talk loudly on their site. Phones with loudspeakers.

At times like these, when a person discusses rashes and flatulence very loudly, in the men’s department at Marshall’s, I long for the old-fashioned, wire-bound, rotating dial telephone on which you’ll talk to your doctor about flatulence Privacy.

We had a rotary dial phone. Sit on the red Formica worktop in our little Cape Kitchen. My best friend Rosemary had a turntable, too, but hers was seated at a polished wood telephone table near her front door. I envied her on the phone table because not only did it provide a place to live the phone, but it had a built in bench for her. I had to pull out the kitchen chair whenever I wanted to talk. And we talked, so that my mother or her mother would walk in, see us, and demand in a firm voice that we “end the call now!”

Now there is no one to tell us to hang up. We can talk for hours. However, we do not. We text. Sometimes I tell Siri “Text Rose” and talk to a bot instead of my oldest friend. Does not make sense. This is not progress.

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I also don’t like smartphone interference. He’s always on, pats our shoulders, interrupts us, and tells us how smart he is. We demand that we pay attention to her, no matter we’re in the middle of dinner, or a conversation, or there’s a little kid pulling our sleeve. It beeps. She sings. It’s ringing. shivering. But this is not the fault of the phone. And the error, as it has always been “in ourselves, that we are his subordinate” and that we have made our smartphones our masters. It summons and we surrender our attention and time. We can stop it but we don’t. I no.

Bots, machines and pre-recorded messages. This is not the fault of the smartphone either. But it’s the most frustrating and annoying part of communication today. If you know the extension of the person you are trying to reach, press 1. For the name calling guide, press 2. We are experiencing longer delays than usual. We are at lunch. If you receive this message, our office will be closed. If this is an emergency, hang up and call 911. Bots, pre-registrations, virtual assistants, bad music and just waiting to get disconnected and have to start the whole process over again? How is this progress?

But maybe it’s progress. Perhaps the sounds of ringtones, smartphones at the dinner table, the speech of virtual assistants and the waiting on hold are the cherished memories of today’s children. Maybe what I see as grooves are really paths that take us to a better place.

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In the meantime, since I don’t like the feel of my smartphone on my ears, I get earbuds. And call my friend Rose.

Beverly Beckham’s column appears every two weeks. It can be accessed at [email protected].

By Elvira Soto

"Hardcore troublemaker. Internet advocate. Creator. Subtly charming entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic."

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