Friday 20 May 2011


 D-scribes on her Blog here has written about her struggles with technology  and it stirred me to write about my latest tussle with that which is as simple as ABC to any child from age one.

At the beginning of this month I bought a new mobile, well, eighteen days ago to be exact; I know this because I had nineteen days to change it if it was all too complicated for me. So I'm keeping it because, well, tomorrow is the 19th day and I could very well walk all the way into town to the phone shop and the girl could say, 'Sorry Madam. Up to but not including the 19th.' and I'll scream and say 'Bitch!!!' to the sweet little thing who, when I took it back a week ago held the bloody thing and  her slender young fingers darted over the qwerty keyboard [which is precisely what sold it to me originally + the fact that it looks like a Blackberry even though it is a Pay as you go]

Me: Why can't I get caller id? I mean who can remember 11 digit phone numbers?
Her: [ Obviously dying to say that she could remember any number of them] So you go here to Options, then Settings then scroll down, click on and...there, simple!
Me: Do you think you could go over that again, slowly.

She repeated the actions again at a speed slightly less than that of light.

Her: [looking at the receipt] You still have a few more days, I think it will get easier, and [all this without ever looking directly at me, as if the sight of my old face might strike her dead] if you really must have a Qwerty, [smarmy cow] then I'm afraid  they are all this complicated.

Me: And there was no manual..just this flimsy piece of paper that I can only read with a magnifying glass and when I did manage to  read it it only tells me what it can do but not HOW TO DO IT!  My son had to go online for me and  eventually found the manual and printed out all forty seven pages but they still don't tell me how to DO IT!
I am aware that my voice is getting louder, that the staff are giving each other looks and sighing a lot.

At this precise moment a man, middle aged, nice face, seemed to have all his wits about him, chimed in:

Man: If  uncomplicated is what you want you should get one of these.' and out of his pocket he pulled a large lump of mobile...the ones with the huge keys and an on/off technicolour.   I wanted to ask if it had stereophonic sound as well; think he was old enough to know what that was...Good old MGM.

Me:[with a rictus smile that is wasted on the girl as she still has not glanced my way]  OK, you're probably right. I'll give it another day or two.

This phone can text, do something called direct messaging, connect me to facebook, twitter and  email. It has a camera for stills and video, and  can connect me to the whole wide world web thingey and probably bake a cake but it cannot let me know who is texting me. Nor am I able to assign a sound to alert me to texts [should anyone text me; the bloody thing has remained ominously silent].

Later the next day: Lord I'm good. Found the sound icon and, although it seemed to be written in a foreign language sussed out the settings. I cannot tell you, or anyone else who should ask, how I did it. Can't find the route again, but at least it makes a noise, well, it would if someone would text me.

Now I must find out how to set caller id: just in case someone remembers I'm their mum. Or I could join Twitter? Heck, what would I write about? Having trouble doing a simple post.


  1. Don't give up hope yet! Mobiles are I think the worst thing there is to get to grips with. I have an iPhone now (nearly broke the bank to get one though) which is touch screen, so it is easier in some ways to get to grips with.
    Persevere, sit down and press everything to try it all out, or get a youngster if you know any to help you get to grips with it. Usually shop staff haven't a clue anyway.

  2. I hate cell phones, my lives in the glove compartment of my car to be used in emergencies. It's a Smart Phone which means it's smarter than me. I went back several times to where I bought it and had the salesman, who was very good with the elderly I might say, and in fact he too was unable to get my regular e-mail to work on the phone and had to set up a new account for me. I bought the phone to take to England with me and though I was assured it would work just fine there as it was a World Phone, it didn't. So as I said, it lives in the glove compartment.

  3. Just reading this has blinded me with science!
    I have a simple *pay as you go* and can do texting and phone calls but not much else!
    You are very clever!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  4. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I'm STILL not using the nice shiny Android phone I got for Christmas. I'm scared that if I do I'll never be able to make a call or answer a text again. To misquote Groucho Marks:

    Why a four-year-old child could understand this 'phone'. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make head nor tail out of it

  5. Don't worry; I'm something of a technophile and it even took me a little while to figure out my phone. It's a small interface and in no way intuitive. Don't feel bad for having it take a while to get used to and figure out. It'll get better.

  6. yeah, my phone will do all sorts of things but really, all I want it to do is make phone calls. and text. I like to text. I can check my email at home. it's not like I get all that much anyway.

  7. We had a break in at work, so we had to access our brand new shiny CCTV system, which (funnily enough) came with no manual. So the company happily popped in to show us how to work it and slapped us with a bill for £150.

    The language I used is not repeatable.

  8. Just find a 10-year-old kid outside and ask them to fix it for you. That's what my Mum does. The little kid will probably even explain it better than the sales lady.

  9. This is positively hillarious! Why? Because the inability to work these smart phones is universal for all of us who are technologically illiterate! My hubby wanted a new phone he could text me on for Christmas. Tmobile had a deal right after Christmas where you got a smart phone for free if you renewed your contract. I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring us up to date with the rest of the world. I got each one of us the same phone my 17 year old had and was enjoying. It was the MyTouch. Shiny, black and displaying such beautiful pictures when you turn it on, we were excited to learn all about how to work these little miracles. Open the silver metal box up and what is in there? NO INSTRUCTIONS WHATSOEVER! I went online to Tmobile and abbra-cadabra! There it is! Not just written instructions, but VIDEOS for idiots like me!!! You get to pretend to press the appropriate buttons as the buttons glow. Great for teaching. Unfortunately, my hubby won't sit down at a computer and learn how to use it, so he keeps begging for his old flip phone back that all he could do on it was call. I have refused because our "free" phones ended up costing us $40 each out of pocket and then an extra $30 a month for the internet that neither of us use. It's so much easier to type on a full size keyboard...and I hate the swype think yours is complicated! Try to drag your finger around a swype keyboard that tries to anticipate the word you are trying to spell! sheesh!

    Everyone else is right....if you can, go onto Youtube and find some instructions for your particular phone (and there are many on there). If you can't find your phone, find a pre-teen. They will know how to do everything that the phone does and the pre-teens have a lot of patience. Once they are a teen, they think we are all idiots....hey! didn't I just admit to being an idiot? lol. Love your posts, Moannie! You always make me smile, laugh, or cry!!!! I am always so excited to see that you have posted something new for me to come and enjoy. You can write about something so common and make it so entertaining!

  10. I have an Android, DROID X because I couldn't wait till Verizon got the iPhone. I think learning new things makes us impatient. I worked on learnng stuff a little bit each day. When you absoutely can't stand it any longer, stop and begin again the next day. I love the phone now.

  11. Oh God I know just what you mean! I am such a technaphobe. I just want a phone that will let me call, text and take the odd photo. I do not want it to be able to unlock my front door, cook my tea and play songs on shuffle while doing so before putting me to bed!!!

    My teenage daughter laughs at me when I am jumping up and down with frustration, takes it said mobile off me and within seconds reduces me to the numpty that I am. GRRRRRRRR!!!

  12. I do not (yet) have a smart phone...because I am certainly not smart enough. Besides no one ever calls me. I am always home and they can call my land line.

  13. You are talking about my adventures.

  14. Doggedness and an 'I will not quit' attitude sometimes get there in the end Moannie, or accidents happen and things work! Stick with it.
    Smiled to myself imagining your 'rictus grin'..we all use those now and again don't we?

  15. Call me a technophobe, but anyone under 40 has a genetic ability to understand how new technology works ... somehow, us others missed out.

    Good luck!

  16. I always recommend buying the road warranty for tires... the extended warranty for appliances... and the simplest phone for making calls on the fly - with texting and camera. My current is a Blackberry Curve and I had to ask my daughter how she changed the chirps that tell you when you've gotten a text message. She found the sequence by accident - while looking for something else! Nothing is easy any more. Nothing!

  17. I wish I knew half of the words you are using to describe what you can't do.
    Text? Messaging? I am ashamed to say I have no idea how to do that.

    I still use an old fashioned mobile which does nothing but phone. and even that I use very rarely. It's for those emergencies when you are out and about and need to tell your nearest and dearest that you are on the train about 5 minutes away from home.

    Say, I've been meaning to ask: how did you get 700+ followers after you lost them all?

  18. Technogran: The clue must be in your name? Mine would be technophobic gran. Thanks for coming over...Yes, everyday I find something else.

    Mac and Janet: It's a conspiracy in my humble opinion, designed to make me feel a dunce...most gadgets are obsolete the moment they go on sale. What chance do we have? Thank you so much for visiting.

    Maggie May: I'm not, truly I;m not. I just want a poncy looking phone and that is my downfall. XXX

    Sarah Mac: hallo and welcome, thank you for taking time out for me. Don't know any four year olds, if I did I'd keep 'em handy, fed and watered and very nearby.

    Haven: Bless you, no I feel less of a lumpen.
    Thank you for visiting.

    Ellen abbott:

    Ellen abbott: Hi and thanks for dropping by.Article in today's paper says that soon landlines will become obsolete as we do most things with our mobiles and computers. Is that why my bill is so high?

    Elaine: Hallo, thank you for your comment. I am amazed at the confidence of those manufacturers who can send out gizmos with nothing more than a flimsy bit op paper, printed in pale blue ink and the smallest of lettering, and we pay huge sums for the privilege of owning the latest thing.

    She: Hi and thanks for visiting. I have looked everywhere but hey are all heads down and fingers flashing.

    LITD: You are a dear, I love it if I can make you laugh. And what a tale you had to tell. We have given up on trying to get JP to use a mobile. And I think he is the most sensible one. Asked what he would do in the case of an emergency he said 'We don't live in isolation, if out, someone will help, and if I'm home I'll use the bloody phone. Or I'll send a letter.' Then turned up his Gallic nose.

    SCharlene: Um, sorry! Android..Verizon? But thanks for dropping in. I'll come over to visit later.

    Lyndylou: Love your name, and, Hallo, good to see you. It was the look of the thing that I fell for...thought it would fool people into thinking I had a Blackberry [what in nincompoop]

    Tabor: Is that what I have, a smart phone? Should have got a stupid one.

    Rosaria: Hallo darlin'. Guess our brains are not wired corectly. But I will get it...every day another piece of the puzzle.

  19. libby:Thank you...I'm working on my doggedness and little by little the wretched thing is exposing its treasures to me. I also find that my rictus grin is taking over and is pasted in place more and more when in the company of any salesperson under the age of thirty.

    Red Nomad OZ: [Now that is a name that needs to be explained} Thank you for coming over here.
    So true...I feel like a Dinosaur most days...but then I realise that 'they' will never know the intricacies of Jive,Quickstep or the Crystal Set.

    Friko: Most of the words I used are simply repeated, parrot fashion and I don't really know what they mean.

    About the 700 odd followers, that is a strange thing. I lost my blog, as you said, but in the time it took to get my Name and Header back [and here I am thinking that Google felt sorry for me...after all to lose two years work was careless of me, but should have been dealt with rather quicker] I was awarded something I had never heard of and that was Blogger of Note. And it was given just at the time that I had my Blog up and running again. Of course my archives had gone so there was virtually nothing for visitors, should they feel the urge, to look back on. Within two weeks I had 20.000 hits and my followers increased from, I think it was 187 and kept going until now. Of course I never had anywhere near a hundred comments never mind 700.
    It was exhilarating at the time until I realised that most of the comments were along the lines of 'loved this.please come see me on:!££$$%%

  20. I have a plain old cell phone. Isn't it bad enough to carry around a device that allows people to bother me when I'm busy, without having one that sings, dances, and has nervous breakdowns on its own?

  21. This post was awesome. I had a great laugh. Yip I have fixed many things but only by pure luck. I am like you - don't ask me to do it again.
    Good job find the correct command.

  22. You made me smile with sympathy at your plight. I was one of the early generation of techies, possibly a pioneer of my sex, made life interesting often being the first female employee. Later I worked in the mobile telecoms industry for about 10 years prior to taking early retirement, yet even I have problems with phones... I have in the course of work tried and failed to make sense of many makes & models.
    If I didnt enjoy my life of leisure so much I think I'd find an alternative career in user interface improvements for mobiles just as interesting as I originally found designing software for bigger computers. Hopefully someone younger than me will take this task on before we all go mad!

  23. You're a braver woman than I, Moannie. I haven't ventured into the world of cell phones yet. I'll turn to you for advice when I do. ;)

  24. I have become quite good to walk in one of those cell phones stores (there are three at every corner anyway) and ask to show me (again) how things work, one thing at a time. That's my way of slowly figuring out how they work. My kids? By age three they were able to figure out where the games on their uncles cell phones were hidden (Uncle: What, there are games? teehee!).

  25. My droidx smart phone is Much smarter than I am. When I bought it a man my age asked the 20 something sales guy if he was born with one of these in his hand, and then reminded him we weren't. Just keep punching the buttons.

  26. I bought a phone for £10.00 on the grounds that it is so cheap it must have very few options. That appears to be true. The only thing wrong with it is that I dropped it, and since then it won't actually be silent. Therefore I have to actually switch it off if I don't want to be woken up in the night by texts from daughter who finished work at past midnight.... Still, you could say that this is my fault. It is. Go for cheap, is my advice. And also, husband says if I am going to throw it out because of the defect mentioned, could he please have it!

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