My house phone is very seldom used for outgoing calls and even incoming calls are few unless someone is requesting my services. In the past I received many nuisance calls usually from businesses doing cold calls but that has mostly ceased though the occasional caller gets through. I can tell when the call is from such businesses as soon as I pick up the phone. If I answer then I receive an automated advertising message presumably because the computer sending out the messages recognizes that a voice has spoken. Sometimes there is complete silence before I can hear the background noise often associated with a call centre. In either case the phone is immediately returned to its holder and the call is ended. With my mobile phone it is different. Businesses have resorted to withholding their number in many cases so I have no idea if the caller is genuine, that is they wish to speak to me about a job or engage in a private conversation. Regular callers are added to my contacts list so I can recognize them immediately and in most cases they do not withhold their number anyway. If I answer a call from a withheld number it is often from a business advertising themselves. I can block such callers however with the phone’s security program application, for my phone I use Kaspersky. However, sneaky as these business companies are they now often send a text message which is easily dispatched to the deleted items bin or worse still they leave a recorded message. Because again, I have no idea who sent the message when I retrieve my recorded messages those messages reach my ear. Of course I immediately delete the message. If there is one thing I hate most about modern technology it this persistent pestering by companies wishing to tell me I may be entitled to compensation for miss-sold PPIs or I may be due for compensation after an automobile accident which wasn’t my fault. Aside from the fact that I have neither I think it is such an imposition and a down right nuisance to have to put up with these things especially as I have no interest in them whatsoever. The only way to stop receiving these cold calls is to stop using the phones it seems because legislation if it exists, is as weak as a kitten.
Is it any wonder I dislike too much technology in my life? Technology is great, when it works and flawlessly but nothing man has made is faultless. The computer on which I write this post is a wonderful invention but like everything else it seizes up sometimes. The hardware is far better than hardware of old and the software is far more sophisticated but therein lies the problem. Software incompatibility causes occasional lock-ups requiring resetting of the machine. The best response I got from someone who knows about computers when this happened to me in the past was, ‘They do that sometimes’. Not really the answer I was looking for, the software problems should not be there in the first place. I resist technology as much as I can but these days it is almost impossible in a modern society. The computer is a very useful tool for many reasons but they can go wrong. A couple of months ago I was forced to exchange my mobile phone because it ceased working. It wasn’t the battery so it must have been the electronic circuitry. In any event it became useless. I was given a smart phone as a replacement. As it happened I was due to have a replacement phone (if I wanted one) as part of my contract agreement. I didn’t really want a smart phone as I don’t have a need for one. The many applications on board don’t get used. All I want is to be able to call people and maybe answer text messages (I don’t send text messages normally) also being able to use the ‘Bluetooth‘ facility enabling the use of my hands-free system in my vehicle (to receive calls only as I don’t make calls when driving). During the last week or so I noticed strange things happening when using the phone. I found the touch screen not responding first time when I ‘swiped’ it, not being able to end a phone call easily once or twice or remove a text message notification when I had finished reading it. Actually I hadn’t read the message knowing it to be ‘spam’ but simply deleted it. The last straw came a couple of days ago when I received a call from a then unknown caller. Thinking it was a request for work naturally I answered but I found I couldn’t accept the call quickly and the caller disconnected. I decided to call the number and found I was connected to an answering machine at a local government department for family affairs. I tried to disconnect but found I couldn’t. The phone was all over the place and not responding to any attempt to control it. The normal screen for disconnecting a call wouldn’t appear and eventually I had to remove the phone’s battery. That in itself was quite an achievement as the back of the phone is difficult to remove for obvious reasons. It took quite a few minutes before the phone went ‘live’ again but that connection had finally been cut. One positive side effect was the disappearance of that text message indicator where no text existed! I could have held the ‘off’ button for a few seconds more but it seemed to me that it wasn’t responding. Taking out the power supply will do it every time! Now you know why I like things to remain simple, bog-standard and simple.
I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?