My newer Blackberry arrived and after 10 minutes I wanted to pull out my hair. (see initial post of this diatribe here; keep in mind this post is filed under 'Just for Fun')
My uncle invited me into a late 50s (?) push-button transmission Dodge. It was neat. I am sure that he could get into a 2020 Tesla or at least a conventional gas-powered vehicle with a gear shift on the floor and drive away without reading any instructions. Yes, the new cars have a bunch of techno gadgetry built-in and you can get to that eventually. But you still have a steering wheel and two pedals that allow you to instantly take off. Not so with new cell phones, especially an upgrade from a 5-7 year old Blackberry with its own OS.
After three days with it, the pejorative term 'crackberry', the first nickname for these gadgets, is now best attributed to the current generation of cell phones. But at least crack addicts know what to do and dont have to read a three hundred page instruction manual. Cell phone operation should be intuitive...
These new cell phones obviously can do just about anything except cut your nails.
Amazing tools they are, and more addictive than any other gadget available to humans...
In order to compete, these companies keep adding more desirable features: faster processors, larger screens, higher resolution built-in cameras, sophisticated gaming capabilities, streaming, etc.
It was nice to see a beautifully pixelated YouTube video, or revel in higher res photos. Talking into your phone to get an answer from the internet is sort of like having Alexa with you everywhere you go. They are slick, they are shiek, they are... well over the top and unnecessary unless you are of a certain age and mentality.
Sure, it's nice to know you can download Google Earth and point out where you are, where your client's new home is going to be, etc. at the spur of the moment. But there is a better time and place for that.
Unless you must post photos to Instagram and Facebook minute by minute, unless you day trade and have to go to the bathroom once in a while, unless you plan to make your next movie using a cell phone, unless you are a complete narcissist and must take selfies all day long to post online, unless you are newly married with kids and have to post pictures to Facebook every 15 minutes -- then you can do without any of the newest phones.
Because of all this sophistication and packed to the gills goodies, the main aspect of the 'portable phone' has been made more complicated. What you really need to do is: answer calls and talkback on a clear connection, respond and send texts and emails. That's it.
- If you are too lazy or absent-minded to carry around a really good digital camera then you deserve to shoot out of a tiny hole in a sliver of plastic.
- If you think you are going to impress someone by trying to enlarge a proforma on your measly screen and do a first-class presentation, then go for it. They will look at you like you are nuts.
- If you are going to show your clients your portfolio or listings on your sharp, clear pocket screen then you are not well organized.
- If you like wrapping your phone in expensive leather and rhinestones, you should be in Dollywood.
- If you fashion yourself as James Dean and stuff your phone into your sleeve or bosom, and carry a cell phone around like Richard Boone carried his six-shooter, well you should see a psychiatrist.
- If you are an aspiring influencer, this should be your first choice of camera, not your regular gear.
- If you are a musician and want to impress us with the fluid tone of your composition, do not record it on your cell phone and post it on YouTube.
- I could go on and on.
- But DO get one of these things if you travel a lot and spend hours and hours on planes, waiting in long lines, and are bored at the ski lodge or on the beach. You can go blind watching any of your favorite videos and movies.
- DO get one of these newer models if you must play your games non stop all day long.
- DO get one of these newer models to watch the Christmas Hallmark movies while you wait in line at grocery stores, at the DMV, or when you are called on jury duty.
If these gadgets could cut grass, wash dishes, and do the laundry people would be dragging them around everywhere they went. Of course there is a time and place and tool for everything.
My newer Blackberry has a keyboard and can be used without one. It has all the other stuff current Android and Apple users enjoy.
- I was asked immediately upon powering on what kind of security system I wanted. There were several options (there are hundreds of options to do anything) including fingerprint but I opted for a connect the dot thingie. I used a Z. Well, every time the phone was left for a few minutes I would have to use the Z to get it going again. What a CROCK! It took two days to figure out I did not need that.
- My old phone had a built-in weather report that was immediate, one click, and understandable. Now you have to download an app and try to maneuver five graphs and hard to read lettering.
- Oh the apps! The apps! Apps are not 'free'. If so, they come attached with insane advertisements. I feel like I am carrying around my TV. They eat up a lot of your hard drive. They talk to each other. They want to have permission to do ANYTHING. They are omniscient. BEWARE. But wait... IPhone has a new app that monitors heart failure...
- What the HEY with all the swiping, gestures, shortcuts, etc. Holy Toledo!! I am NOT going to memorize this crap and spend several minutes more each time I have to show off to myself or someone else!
- Do NOT switch phones or systems to go to something completely different. I am used to a trackball that was SUPREMELY intelligent and useful. I could correct mistakes in my messages in split seconds. Now I have options for size, font, etc. and it takes FOREVER to do simple things. I instinctively hit the spot for where the trackball used to be and now it goes back to 'start', the default screen.
- This phone is not well balanced! I could use my older phone with one hand. For years I would watch the iPhone people and other finger swipe systems while they held the phone in both hands with thumbs going crazy. THAT my friends is NOT sophisticated phone technique. This phone is top-heavy, the keyboard is smaller, so trying to one hand it means it will tip backwards and likely break over and over again.
As I mentioned in my previous rant, after one day of frustration with this 'new and improved' model I immediately went online and ordered the old model again. I have it now, ready to plug in and be happy once more. The old phone is the Blackberry Classic. For no fuss, no muss, basic get the job done right, that is THE phone to have.
Two days ago I was complaining to some friends. He is an IT guy, brilliant. His wife, also an artist, was busy on her cell phone. I asked him what her previous phone was and if the new one was an improvement. She looked up from her iPhone and said it took ten times longer to navigate and get what she wanted done versus her previous phone, a Blackberry. While this is anecdotal, I am sure there are dozens of things that my digitally sophisticated friends out there can't live without. But I can.
I will fire up my Classic and just get 'er done!!! I have a desktop, laptop, iPad thing, whatever -- for what really needs to happen!
After all, if the previous President and his Secretary of State depended on Blackberrys to keep the U.S. and world safe and running, then I should be content.
(by the way, I still haven't figured out how to retrieve missed calls on this stupid thing!)
One of my favorite comic strips today is Pearls before Swine by Stephan Pastis. He is the new Dilbert of social commentary. The strip at top is his creation. More of his work here.