Sorry, Ralph 
Saturday, August 31, 2019, 07:46 AM
Posted by Administrator
In the past few weeks, I have come to own two "smart" phones. This was not something I wanted. For years, each of my two phone numbers has had its own Casio Ravine flip phone. For those who made fun of me for a) being old and b) still using 80's technology, I would first tell them my boring story about selling computers in the 1970s before they worked and, because of that, getting a lifetime pass on having to accept new technology and then I'd throw one of the phones across the room to demonstrate how rugged it was. Rugged (Military specifications) or not, after a few throws, the screens cracked.

Anyway, I "lost" one of the phones(by which I mean my 2 year old granddaughter put it somewhere she thought, at the time, was a good place to put it), bought another Casio Ravine for $30 on ebay, found out that Verizon couldn't/wouldn't connect it because it was not a 4g or 5 g device, left Verizon for Consumer Cellular (the company with the gray-haired TV spokespeople) and bought a $60 Motorola and a $100 Samsung from my new provider. With a couple of weeks of smart phone experience now under my belt, I'd like to share some thoughts:

1) My risk of death by accident or cardiac event has increased exponentially. With the flip phone, I could open it up, dial 911, and hit the green "send" button in a few seconds and likely even if the flow of oxygenated blood to my brain were cut off. If SOMETHING HAPPENED, now, I'd have to find and push the button on the right side to get to the screen that allowed me to "swipe" and open the phone; after I swiped, I'd need to get out of the ap I had been in earlier and find the screen that let me make phone calls; then, I'd have to find and push the "icon"(?) for the keyboard and type 911; then, I'd have to choose between options: do I want to "phone" 911, text 911, "set up" 911 or send 911 money. I will be long-dead before I got a call off.

2) I no longer control my phone. This morning, I woke up at 4:30AM and grabbed the Motorola figuring I would get the update on Dorian, the hurricane that is, at the moment (according to the local news), threatening the lives of ALL Floridians. I hit the button on the right to turn it on, swiped the screen, and saw the phone was poised to call Ralph Mabie. Now, I want to say that I like Ralph a lot; have known him for more than 20 years; and acknowledge that he is a much better lawyer than I. But on the other hand, I haven't called him in about a month and I have no idea whey the Motorola decided that 4:30AM this morning was a good time to connect with him. Did the call go through? I dunno. I guess what happens depends on whether, mostly; asleep, I hit the screen to get it to move off of the Ralph call or whether I accidentally hit I hit send (or text, or set up or send $).

3) Owning a smart phone really hits home the idea that we are all being watched. I am not kidding about this. I found out that before I can use any phone aps, I have to give google access to my phones picture gallery and video and emails. Consumer Cellular, Motorola and Samsung, through the GPS, all now know where I am, have access to my internet searches and know the identity of all of my contacts. If I enter the US with my smart phones, Customs and Border Protection can demand my password (and, keep me sitting for hours it I don't comply---and seize the phones of and deny entry to non-citizens) and have a look-see at everything on them (I believe the threat of exactly this keeps foreign phone rental companies like TravelCel in business). The Chinese are (from what I have read) demanding the smart phones of everyone entering from Mongolia so that I install an non-removable ap that will track them...and listen to them(?).

Who/what is next?

And, having a mini-computer in the pocket is bound to increase reliance on technology until it becomes normal to have a siri or a cortana or an alexa around the house to turn the outside lights on and off or to demand an immediate play list of 60s rock. So, people now go to the store and buy a listening device so that large corporations (and the government) can listen in to everything anybody in the house talks about, 24/7.

Can I have my flip phones back?

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