Technology is Maddening

7 Mar

I have a friend, who boasts that his phone is essentially the perfect phone and does everything well, except make calls. Now for a man my age, it seems like that is a ridiculous statement. When I was growing up, phones made calls and that’s it. In fact, I remember when my family was considering buying an answering machine, only to learn about some new-fangled technology known as voice mail. You could get messages on your phone without having one of these devices that looked like a tape recorder. Wow!

Fast forward to today when people are buying phones that have little to do with the sound quality on the other line, and it is quite a paradigm shift. I, however, can get sucked in as much as anyone, and since I added texting to my phone last year, I have become an over-zealous person at firing off messages 160 characters at a time. And when my wife got a phone that allows her to surf the internet at our house, I thought that was completely awesome.

So, with the potential enthusiasm, I decided to actually consider getting a phone that had internet capabilities. So, I perused the T-Mobile website to pick out a phone that may work. Well, I learned that you cannot get a phone that has internet capability without shelling out sixty bucks a month to use the T-Mobile internet service (there was a cheaper plan that you could get, but I had to get one of the plans and that was the one they RECOMMENDED). Now, it is kind of cool to look at a webpage while being to lazy to walk the five feet over to a computer, but I live my life between places that have wireless networks and loads of computers, so in the normal course of things, the only time I need internet is in the car, and I already get accused of texting while driving, so that isn’t a good thing.

Then, I had the brilliant idea of getting an old phone with internet capability that I could buy from someone and then just plug in the SIM card. I got the a blackberry from a friend at work, who was so kind to supply it to me. Then, I noticed that it was old enough that the software had expired. So, I diligently studied the book and google and found a way to re-install the OS system so that I could actually get something on the screen.

Finally, I thought I had success. But I couldn’t get the time to display the correct time and I couldn’t surf the web. These are minor complaints to a guy of my generation, as the phone part still worked, but that was kind of the intent of this whole thing. As I began getting frustrated, I brought it to my class of real estate students who informed me that it was obviously a T-Mobile issue and I should either talk to them or google it.

As I was at home tonight, I looked it up on google and saw something about taking out the SIM card and putting it back in. I took out the SIM card and I was surfing the internet on the phone. Feeling success was just around the corner, I plugged the SIM card in, and again error message. So I called T-Mobile and asked them. After telling me that it was impossible to get internet on my phone (did they even listen to me), I asked to be transferred to someone who knew what they were talking about.

I was informed by the new person that due to some technology Blackberry purposefully halted getting internet by putting in firewalls (now this doesn’t make sense, since the phone works without the SIM card). At any rate, I was told that unless I got a data plan of at least $20/month, they could not help me. At this point, I decided to revert to a dumb phone unless or until someone in my house (seems like Emily is the likely person) gets smart enough to help me make it work without costing an arm and a leg. Therefore, I am reverting to using an actual computer to surf the internet.

But when I informed my family, Emily thinks I should carry around the blackberry without the SIM (it would, after all, be in my other phone, which I want to use as a phone) and use it for wireless internet only. I told you she was the likely candidate to find me an inexpensive, effective way to use the internet signal in my house, which I already pay for, as the internet device for my phone. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

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One Response to “Technology is Maddening”

  1. Jenni August 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I have not. But I do not want Internet on my phone. And I admire all the time you spent trying to make it happen. We are soooo different. 🙂

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