Saturday, 1 June 2013

My New Phone or How I Became a Traitor

Blog fans, I owe you an apology. I knew it had been a long time since my last post, but I had no idea it had been over three months. I am abject. I am on my knees, begging for forgiveness. My ever hungry ego is wondering who noticed.

The thing is, it's not like I don't spend almost all waking moments when I'm not actively thinking about something (more moments than you might suspect) thinking about my blog. I really do. It's the screen saver for my brain. I have a long list of possible entries that need writing (viz: why the Big Bang Theory will never be as good as Friends; why I love dancing; tube politics, to name but three) but somehow the time has never been quite right to write them in the past - exactly - 100 days.

The reasons for this are multiple, often revolving around being somewhat busy, but I think the major one is that I've been, you know, if I dare admit it, kinda… happy. I know. Vile, right? I can't write about happiness. What would people say? This blog isn't called The Big Book o Smiles and Skipping, is it now?

I realise now how remiss I've been, and I shall do my best to redress the balance and get miserable again ASAP so that I can keep y'all entertained with puns and pithiness aplenty.

And so... those of you who are still talking to me will remember that I ended my last blog post with the promise of finally getting with the program only, what, like 8 or 9 years late and obtaining a smart phone. And on Monday, that's what I did. I nothing if not am a woman of my word.

I thought I would dive in at the deep end, so I got an HTC One, which I was reliably informed by reams of techy comparison websites in the hours of intense research that I did was the genuine article, the greatest phone ever built, the phone that would change my entire life. Oh, ok, that's a lie, a friend of mine said it could play audio books really loud and that was enough for me.

I have had this computer-in-my-pocket for six days now, and here are my conclusions, thus far:

1. It's not actually a computer-in-my-pocket. This would be an impossibility because it's so fecking BIG. My old Nokia 2330 fit in my hand like a diamond on a ring finger. This HTC One wouldn't fit in a 10 litre rucksack, even if it used its own internet capabilities to join Weight Watchers for a month first. Now, I know I got an extra big phone and I could have gone for a smaller one, so I really have no-one to blame but myself, but I had my reason for this, a reason which I stand by.

My major gripe with smart phones has always been that typing on them is so damn hard. Your fingers press the wrong key constantly. So it seemed sensible to me that a bigger screen would equal a better chance at accuracy when stabbing at the letters. This is somewhat true, and I must say, there is something very satisfying about the heft of it when I'm actually speaking to someone on it. My ear lines up with it... and so does my mouth!!! It is so many decades since I had a phone that did that that I forgot it was ever true. But... it won't fit in ANY of my pockets. Which means I'm either carrying it constantly in my paw like a mugging waiting to happen, or I have to zip it inside a special pocket in my bag so it won't get scratched, which means it's nowhere near me. I do not like this.

2. The typing IS really annoying. I have already made three (THREE!) mistakes in texts in only six days (well, I made about 65 more when I was texting my boyfriend very drunkenly on the way home last night - he, bless him, was replying imploring me to put the very expensive new phone bag in my bag and stop waving it around the high streets of Tottenham. Must remember that people might actually want to steal this phone, another sensation I've not had in a decade or so - but I won't count drunken text errors, we're allowed to do silly things when we're drunk), one of them, humiliatingly, on Facebook. For the WHOLE WORLD TO SEE. Happiness one day, and writing 'tryst' when I meant 'trust' the next. Where is the real Johanna?

This is obviously unacceptable. The thing is, isn't it, you're staring so intently at the bit where you're pecking away with your fingers that you don't have the time to look at the bit where the words are actually coming out. And let's face it, this phone is so big I'd need a stepladder to get to where I could see that bit anyway. This is why the mistakes happen. Well, that and the fact that some moron decided it would be a good idea to replace perfectly serviceable phone keyboards with 12 actual buttons on them with so-called touch screens with 104 virtual buttons on all the phones in the world ever. Of course that doesn't work as well, you ASS HAT. There's not enough space!

I hear there are 'apps' (I feel like such a traitor using that word, it sits in my mouth as badly as chillax or mudblood or I'll-take-mine-rare-please) which can turn your stupid virtual QWERTY keyboard into a sensible phone one (although sadly it can't turn the screen into a set of physical buttons), so as soon as I've worked out how to download things (alright, alright, as soon as I'm sitting next to someone who already knows how so they can 'show me' and I can nod wisely and watch Ally McBeal episodes in my head), I'm getting me one of those so I shall never make a mistake again. In my entire life ever once. It works like that, right?

Briefly now, as I fear I'm going to bore you all away if I don't shut up soon, here are some other observations I have made: I tried to use the maps for the first time yesterday, the thing everyone told me would make it all worth it, and it tried to make me walk 10 minutes past where I was actually meant to be going. You cannot text on 'smart' (HA! Smart my ASS!) phones and walk at the same time, at least not without causing a 10 person pile up. I actually never will read a book on a bus ever again. It buzzes annoyingly every single time someone sneezes on Facebook and I don't know how to turn it off.

I should really read the manual, huh?