Tag Archives: technology

iPhone? More like iCry. iHateYou, iPhone. iReallyDo.

I’ll be heading left if you need me. Just follow the trail of bitter tears. (Photo credit: ukhorseracinganalyser.com)

Today, a recent poll from coworkers within my department who also have iPhones revealed that I am the only one stupid enough to regularly (attempt to) update my phone’s iOS software. Always a catastrophe and never an over-exaggeration, the process of updating this software equates to a lifetime in an endless abyss of faulty Internet connections and blank-staring Apple support personnel.

I approach these updates grimly, especially after the first time updating the phone took more than two hours. Nowadays I take care to fit updates into my schedule only upon making peace with the fact it will mind-numbingly erase a few hours out of my life to do so. Today, I’m going for the world record of one whole day! That’s right, bloggers – I haven’t had my phone for almost an entire day. And I’m still functioning. Muahahaha!

Don’t look so scared; maniacal titters are how I always laugh…

It’s honestly unnecessary to back away slowly like that. I’m fine. I’m fiiiiine!

I know I’ve  become overly reliant on technology when I forget how to use old methods of communication. Scarcely will I call anyone, even Clayton (Why should I when I get to hear “Just Another Night” by the Real McCoy if I hold out until he calls me?) when texting is available, and you mean to tell me there’s an actual website for Pinterest and not just an app? Ah, but I have to be near a computer. And here I was thinking all dinosaurs were extinct.

What do dinosaurs and Apple have in common? They’re both dead to me. (Photo credit: geologicresources.com)

Some (all) say I’m on my phone too much, as was the case when we went to South Dakota last weekend. On the drive there, Clayton looked at me cautiously as if approaching a newborn baby before gently (with terror flooding his facial features) saying, “Now, when we’re on this vacation, I don’t want to see you on the phone the whole time…”

Cue my response (“Of course, no problem!”) as horror drained all blood from my face. Quickly looking away, I had to refrain from tucking and rolling out of the car right then and there.

Back to present day. My updating woes began again yesterday when I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. When more than one app has a red dot (or is it a star, oh, GOD, I’m already forgetting!!!) next to it, I slowly drive myself crazy not being able to update, especially if an iTunes connection is needed and I’m nowhere around a dinosaur. Now I know what you’re thinking: Drive yourself crazy? Girl, you hit crazy five paragraphs ago.

Well, then.

Maybe.

If so, that craziness is justified as my latest update went horribly wrong and my phone was unable to connect to the computer long enough to finish before going into an emergency shut-down. I lost everything. EVERYTHING. Cue my fairly reasonable, dignified response: falling to my knees, hands reaching dramatically upward, cursing the sky.

Still I kept my cool (really, I did) and decided to restart the computer and phone, plug them back in and see what the next day brought. I woke up to no alarm because of course it’s on the phone, which no longer provided me anything more than a conveniently flat skipping stone just begging to be thrown into the nearest lake. As we got ready for work, I made certain to passive-aggressively tell Clayton (within earshot of my phone, still pathetically attached to the computer):

“You know what? No, I don’t even want it anymore. That’ll show it. Ya hear me? (slyly glancing in the direction of the phone) Don’t connect with the computer for all I care; you’re nothing to me! Nothing!”

“Is it working?” I whispered to Clay out of the corner of my mouth, pretending to slip on heels without a care in the world, humming cheerfully, even.

“Nope!” he replied back, joy in his eyes but also…was that fear?

I flounced from the room. “Good. Excellent. Why use a phone when I have a computer at work?” I said. “I DON’T NEED YOU!” I shouted in the direction of the phone while viciously attacking my hair with a brush in the bathroom.

Clayton began to look worried.

Taking stock of the situation, I  realized that the relationship I had with my phone constantly fluctuated between a horrible domestic relationship and a parent/child relationship.

“Try getting three bars of reception from the bottom of this lake, jerk! We’re so over!” (Photo credit: catalogs.com)

Here’s why:

Horrible domestic relationship

  1. I’m in constant denial. I often find myself thinking I can change it, or that updating is going to be different this time. This frame of thought quickly turns to self-doubt. (Is it something I did? Did I not plug it in tightly enough? I can change; I swear!)
  2. I’m pretty sure Clayton thinks it’s the “other guy” in our relationship, which is fair enough because sometime I sneak off with it so he doesn’t see I’m using it so much.
  3. Trying to work on the relationship (update the phone) ends with a bad connection every time.
  4.  Over-emotional yelling and crying mixed with obscenities and empty threats have become standard.
  5. So has immediately forgiving and forgetting once things go back to normal.

    There, there – we’ll get you all patched up. (Photo credit: ecohomeresource.com)

Parent/child relationship

  1. When my phone refuses to “talk” to my computer, I have to remind it to play nice.
  2.  I stay with it when it’s down for the count and unable to update, holding it steadily to the port like a mother would hold her child’s hand when he or she is sick.
  3. I say encouraging things to it even though I know it’ll never be good at soccer.
  4. As it gets older and stops obeying my commands, I constantly find myself crying “What do you want from me?!”
  5. Like a mother sends her kid to school for the first time, I decide the phone will be ok updating itself too early, only to find it won’t ever do so unless I’m in the room. Finally, I find myself making the “stay” motion with both of my hands, cautiously and carefully, desperately trying not to disturb it before saying “I’m just going into the bathroom to do my hair and make-up. If you need me, I’ll be here in a second!”
  6. After it’s been bad and won’t update, I tell it defiantly that “No, we are not stopping at Apple now, and no dessert for you!”
  7. If Clay tries to approach the phone when an update is in process, I hush him before whispering, “It’s very shy – shhh, you might scare it!” When Clayton says he can fix it, I then tell him that it will update when it’s ready.
  8. With my computer ready to crash any day, I’m convinced my phone is hanging out with the wrong crowd.

I’m glad this is a three-day weekend, because I’m sure I’ll be spending at least another day daring, betting, praying and begging that iTunes progress bar to make it all the way to “Finish.”

Until then, I better wrangle myself up a fashionable straight jacket.

True to word, Zombie Farm full of zombies, farming

Those of you with smart phones undoubtedly have been playing uploaded games on your phones for years. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who holds onto my incredibly outdated devices for as long as possible because I don’t like change stubbornly refuse to buy new technology when the old works just fine.

I was made to use words such as "poppycock," "darn tootin'," and "yahoos."

Either way, I am officially 90.

This is why I never owned a newfangled Razr in 2004 and why until just a few months ago, I was carrying around an ancient Blackberry of the likes of which batteries for my particular make and model were no longer sold.  

If I had known about the luxuries of phone apps such as Epicurious, Yelp and ScoreCenter, I probably would have converted faster. It didn’t help that I was held captive for years under the monopolistic, ironfisted rule of Alltel. (I still feel semi-bad about starting rumors on Twitter about Alltel causing cancer, running over puppies for fun and influencing kids to drop out of school to become back-up dancers.)

There came a day when my Blackberry’s battery life ran out alongside my luck. When it did, Verizon was there to pick up the pieces, placing into my hands a shiny new iPhone 4 that required accessories designed to make me look affluent and not at all like I just spent that month’s rent on various rectangular pieces of protective plastic. I quickly became reacquainted with SpaghettiOs, one-ply toilet paper and the need for anger management when the 4S came out the week later.

…life.

The casual love affair I had with the phone’s endless assortment of apps turned into an incessant need faster than a freshman in high school tries her first wine cooler. As the games I had initially downloaded lost their luster, I looked for something new to fill the void. Then, after an hour of [impatiently] sitting in my doctor’s waiting room, I stumbled across it:

Zombie Farm.

It was a neglectful escape at first. I didn’t know how to play the game, didn’t bother to read the rules – didn’t care. Zombies and vegetal crops that had been planted to be harvested during very specific timeframes withered more than once under my negligent eye. I didn’t shed a tear. I didn’t bat that eye.

In fact, for that first week I confused the zombies with gnomes. Some had pointy hats.

Zombie Farm destroys lives and yes, where can I purchase that blue lagoon again?

I eagerly showed the game to Clayton the night of its discovery, and it became commonplace to play together, talking about our strategies over lunch dates and texts:

Clayton: “Do you think I should buy some decorative barrels for the farm?”
Me: “And spend 1,000 pieces of gold on a round piece of wood? It takes days to harvest those onions, Clayton! DAYS!! Well, one day.”
Clayton: “Maybe we should work on mutating our zombies to higher powers under this section called “Upgrades.” (He had read the instructions and FAQs through and through. Engineers.)
Me: “That mutated zombie with an onion head is freaking me out, Clayton. Right out.”

Last Sunday, I sent the zombies (who had computer-derived, 90s-inspired names such as Betsy, George and Ned – awesome) into battle to feed and collect loot for the first time. As they gnawed hungrily at 10 red-headed farmhands, I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone seemed to have it in for gingers. It was also then that I felt my first twinge of emotional attachment:

What if my first harvested zombie, George, doesn’t make it through the fight? Why didn’t I give them the proper sendoff, complete with a motivational speech about courage and victory? What is this I feel? Remorse? I think I’m going to throw up…

My nervousness for the safety of each zombie increased with each invasion.

However, as our troops gained invasion experience, they collected not only wins, but brains to curb their hunger and give them strength. After our little minions had been sufficiently fed, they roamed the farm with thought bubbles lingering over their heads filled with images of rainbows, smiley faces, daisies, lollipops and for the extra brain-dead – ellipses.

AWWWW. You can see why I love the little buggers.

We began to invest more time in decking out our farm, racking up experience points and diminishing whatever cool points we had acquired over, you know, actually living life. Trees that increased the lifespan of our little brain munchers, colorful banners, mailboxes, seashells and daisies soon overran the boundaries of our farm, which OMG, I just realized I shamelessly call “our.”

(And society wonders why no one is getting married anymore. Welcome to cyberspace. It’s motto should be “It’s legitimate enough.”

I knew my investment in the game had gotten bad when I started setting an alarm on my phone so I’d know when it was time to harvest.

I'll get to that TPS report immediately. Just as soon as I plow these last few acres of land.

I knew it had gotten worse when I started to nervously glance at my phone again and again in alarm when a co-worker stopped into my cube to talk just as it was time to sell some carrots.

I knew it had gotten to the point of no return when Clayton and I started having conversations fitting of a tired, cranky couple with 14 too many cyber kids. Because he’s been out of town for work the last few days, I was filling him in on how the farming was coming along, and which zombies were new (“Edna did the cutest thing the other day. I clicked on her as she was roaming through the garden – she loves the new shamrocks I just planted, btw – and she musta been hungry because she said, ‘Brains!’ It was adorable!”)

I also had to admit to accidentally killing our entire first fleet of zombies (RIP, George…) to a vampire farm that first day playing without him. The weight of decisions made without him was becoming unbearable, and when he casually asked yesterday how the farm was doing, I found myself texting half-jokingly, “You would know if you ever spent any quality time with the family!”

Of course by family, I meant Billy, Zip and all the others who had soullessly chewed their way into our hearts. He texted back, “Awww, I miss them” and with that, I collapsed in defeated exhaustion.

When I woke up this morning, I realized I don’t even expect to find Zombie Farm under the folder marked “Games” on my iPhone anymore. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet created a folder for “Obligations.”

I am so stressed, but anyway, I better go check on my turnips.

Your technology use is out of control if…

1. You get your news from Facebook status updates
2. Your phone takes the place of your alarm clock, textbooks, computer, life…
3. Why, yes, you have an app for that
4. You lovingly spoon your laptop at night
5. You only go out in order to check into places and earn points
6. You can’t even turn left anymore without your GPS guiding you
7. You use Twitter as an instant messenger
8. You actually use Time Warner’s phone connection capability on your TV
9. You can only fall asleep under the warm, soothing glow of a computer
10. Blindfolded, you can singlehandedly connect your computer to your TV to your iPod to your…
11. You’re slyly streaming the big game on your phone during  a funeral
12. Teens can’t even decipher your text message abbreviations anymore
13. When you post to Twitter that you’re going to bed, it automatically posts to all ten of your other social media sites so everyone is updated on the exciting news
14. You condescendingly talk about how black the blacks are on your new blue-ray
15. Upcoming upgrades stress you out
16. You won’t go running if your iPod isn’t charged