My phone has an annoying habit of doing things by itself. Among other things, it’s made blank Facebook Messenger phone calls to random people on my Facebook friends lists. It frequently mutes itself, meaning I miss calls. And the other day it turned the screen brightness down to almost zero, rendering the phone virtually useless.
It took me a while to figure the problem out. I consistently discover issues of this kind when retrieving the phone from my pocket. The problem is that the screen saver – which is meant to disable the touchscreen – doesn’t always lock. The act of having an unlocked phone in one’s pocket, apparently, suffices to first activate a drop-down ‘quick settings’ slider and then randomly push things on it; or to activate whatever the last app was and randomly do something with that. The challenge, of course, is figuring out what obscure function has been activated and then trying to discover which of the 483,200 settings was switched.
Why doesn’t the screen always lock? I don’t know. Possibly a processor lag. I never buy expensive phones – if you drop your $1500 Fapple MePhone, you have $1500 worth of junk. Drop a $200 Crudmo Cheapass phone and – well, the pile of junk is cheaper. Nor do I need a supercomputer in my phone – if I want to do anything serious, I head over to my hyper-uber ‘ruler of the universe’ desktop computer with twin 27″ monitors, a dozen cores worth of latest-gen water-cooled chip, and a graphic processor that sucks so much power it drops voltages on the National Grid. Besides, there’s the pernicious design practise of making phone batteries non-replaceable – and damned if I am going to put my hard-earned lucre into the pockets of corporates who cynically ensure their phones can’t be maintained.
Personally I’d do without such a device, but the way society has gone these days it’s virtually impossible to do anything without a phone. The functionality has become embedded in the way we do things, down to the point where the New Zealand government had no compunction about making phones an essential part of their Covid-19 ‘contact tracing’ system. They also send civil defence alerts by phone. And when that happens, it basically says the device is integral with society. It’s taken only just over a decade.
Do you have phone issues? Rely on it? Feel naked without it? Let me know in the comments.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2021