Many of my readers will know that I have an aversion to modern communication technology, though ‘communication’ itself isn’t an issue with me. When it was possible to carry around a telephone wherever one went I was all in favour of it and I am still. What I don’t like, or rather what does not appeal to me is the ability to have the world in my pocket, being able to download or upload data in vast quantities. I am not into having loads of applications on my phone seemingly to make my life easier or under better control when in fact I really don’t need it. In basic terms I don’t want an electronic device running the way I live my life. What I do want is to be available when someone wishes to speak with me or if I wish to speak with someone else I am able to do so. To a much lesser degree and for me it is very much a lesser ideal is to be able to deliver a message through texting. So far this year I doubt I have used the texting service more than once and then only to reply to a friend by asking her to email me instead. I don’t text! The phone for me is for speaking to people not leaving them messages. Anyway to that end I would like to be able to use a simple phone that only offered speech and maybe texting but they no longer exist for use on today’s networks. The old networks used analogue transmitters and receivers whilst new networks have switched to digital transmission and reception. Second generation (2G) phones are basic but digital but even they are equipped with more applications than merely voice and text. In this country most people who have mobile phones have 3 or 4G models which have a higher capability than the 2G ever had though surprisingly they often have to use the 2G network in use. The 2G network is slower as the need for 2G phones is limited and doesn’t require the higher speed and data transmissions that the 3 and 4G phones need. It is unlikely that the 2G system will be switched off in the near future because its infrastructure allows the use of higher level phones to be used in places they would otherwise be denied. That will change eventually I have no doubt but until the whole industry gears itself for the up and coming 5 and possibly 6G phones by building a dedicated infrastructure for these phones the 2G network will remain. It is called progress. By the time all of this comes about I doubt I will need the use of a mobile phone any longer so it will be of no consequence to me.
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.
Like most people these days I receive a lot of junk mail through the letter box and in my Email in-boxes. I receive unwanted and unsolicited phone calls, text messages offers from companies wanting to sell me something. I get very annoyed with it all. I don’t want to be bothered with such things but find it difficult to end it all. When I receive unsolicited Emails I tag them and add their senders address to the Spam folder, which by now must be very full indeed! However I have discovered that the sender often has many addresses by which they send out their persistent junk. Nevertheless they all get binned and marked as spam. Unsolicited calls to my land-line phone are all blocked by and large but I still get cold calls from genuine businesses such as Yellow Pages wanting me to advertise in their pages. I keep telling them not to call again but it falls on deaf ears so now I just put the phone down as soon as I know who it is calling. ‘Good morning, how are you today?’ doesn’t cut it with me for I know what is coming next. It is somewhat more difficult to block calls on my mobile phone but I am able to block phone numbers using my security software program that I have installed on it. One snag though is that I have to know whose phone number it is before I block it which means I normally have to accept it the first time. With snail mail, that is junk posted through my letter box, I either send it back to the sender or put it directly into the paper waste bin unread. If I haven’t asked for the literature then it should be obvious to those who send it that I don’t want it but it is assumed that I will automatically be interested! I do not wish to be pestered by special offers, great deals, free gifts if I spend some money or anything else. If I am pestered by advertisements they automatically put me off buying from the sender or if I am approached in a store by some eager-to-please staff member I reject the offer of assistance unless I want it. Please leave me alone to make decisions for myself. I have a mouth, I am able to speak, I am able to ask questions if it is my wish to do so thank you very much. Be warned therefore, if I didn’t ask for it I probably don’t want it, no, I definitely don’t want it because you are pestering me!
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.