If you’ve been reading my posts for long enough, you’ll know that I have something of a love/hate relationship with technology. On the one hand, it provides a significant level of ease and comfort for mundane, everyday things and has significantly helped with my overall condition as it relates to Diabetes. On the other hand, it’s helped to turn society into phone zombies when they’re out in public and armchair warriors and lawyers when they’re in private. The reality is that we’ve become dependent on our technology, with most people finding themselves unable to manage their day-to-day lives without it. and I’m no exception.
If you’re an avid reader, you’ll remember that the past month has seen me visiting the repair shop with my vehicle a number of times. That in and of itself isn’t all that incredible, since most vehicles require SOME repair as they age. The part that made it worth writing was simply the sheer inconvenience and cost involved, with the added comedy of having me get caught walking home in the rain, etc… Well, my vehicle has been running fine since the last repair visit and life decided that I needed a different challenge. So my cell phone decided to act up…
I recently got the new model of the particular cell phone brand I’ve been using for years. For obvious reasons, I won’t say what brand of cel phone or what provider I use. I don’t think I can afford to be sued. But despite not being the biggest fan of technology, I got the newest model when it became clear that I could no longer properly update my current model. Like most people, my wife and I no longer own a landline and being able to reach me throughout the day is an important aspect of life, with two children at home and elderly parents to consider, as well.
Maybe a week or two after I walked away with a brand new cell phone, I lost cell reception. Not like I dropped in bars or it came and went, the phone actually dropped a message indicating I had no SIM card installed. I knew this wasn’t the fact, so I took an hour out of the work day to bring the phone back to the provider, who promptly switched out the card. Reception kicked back in, I was making and receiving calls and all was right with the world. For a couple of weeks. I was sitting home on a Saturday when the very same thing happened, again.
I went back to the provider and explained what was happening and the lady helping me kindly showed me the difference between the current SIM I had inside the phone and the fact they were thought to be a defective batch, and the new one she was about to install, which were apparently tailor-made for my specific phone. Now, most people would have lost their shit and started complaining at this point. I recognize that under the right circumstances and the right mood, I likely would have been cross with the young lady. But the level of service and the time she took in explaining the added details made all the difference.
The new SIM card kicked in and the phone had full bars and seemed to be working properly. The employee warned me that if this happened again, the phone would likely need to be sent off to the manufacturer as it was likely something internal they wouldn’t be able to repair on site. So, what do you think happened? The phone lost signal. Less than a week later. While I was mid-phone call. Nice. It was a Saturday and I found myself spending an hour trying to balance discussing the matter and getting my phone swapped out for a loaner and juggling a restless six-year old who decided he just HAD to come with daddy.
The loaner phone I was provided was a previous version that I had used, which was outdated by many years in terms of updatability. But here’s the thing: the features were familiar and sound, the phone worked properly and with the exception that the older phone lacked enough memory to hold all my music, the phone felt slimmer and smaller than my current new one and worked excellently for phone calls (and for you younger folks, using it for phone calls is the ACTUAL purpose of a cell phone). It got me thinking how much better it would be if these devices were simply made to last as opposed to needing them replaced every few years.
As a child, I used to watch our family vehicle get older and older, never replacing it until the damn thing physically gave out from age and damage. Throughout my entire childhood, my parents have only owned three vehicles, with the first one being there when I was born and the third was still there when I moved away. My mother purchased a new vehicle for herself a few years ago, but this new one makes four. Meanwhile, I’ve purchased/owned seven vehicles (one was my wife’s) in the past ten years! And I can say that these replacements have always been because of some lack of suitability of increased repair work.
I’m not complaining about my current situation. All things considered, I’ve got a working loaner phone and my phone will be returned within the next week or two. As long as it comes back repaired and ready to go to work, there’s no harm no foul. It just gets one thinking about how we seem to live in a world that values replacement over repair, which is not always the best course of action. If material and items were made to last instead of constantly needing replacement, wouldn’t that be so much better for the environment? Wouldn’t that create less stress on society as a whole, since replacing or upgrading belongings wold be a choice instead of a requirement? Food for thought… ☯