On Wednesday I had me-self one of them horrible, terrible, no good, very bad days that just happen every so often. We've all had them, nothing catastrophic actually occurs but absolutely nothing goes right either. I dropped my soap in the shower five times. It almost stayed on the bathtub floor with me joining it after the fifth drop made me too dizzy to stand. Then I ripped my shirt while putting it on. I was hoping to have lost weight but now am not so sure. Sitting down to pay a few bills I notice a fraudulent charge on one of our accounts. So I freak out, then pick up my cell to call the bank. After scouring their website and scrutinizing the tiny print on the back of the card I discover the correct phone number, as far as I can tell. So I dial and before it even rings a massive zap of electricity jolts into my brain from the phone. I mean reverberating. It drops my call and makes a tremendously loud and long beep. I look at it to see the damn smart phone I have hated since the day I got it voraciously scrolling through my contacts, calling people, pushing buttons and sending text messages reading "xlktf" and such nonsense. Channeling Linda Blair it was possessed!
Now I don't have a home phone and my husband is at work. I panic, feeling like an island into myself with no means of communication with the outside world. Eureka! I remember that thing called email. So I send my husband a message to call the bank and report the theft. Then I scour the house for my old phone, that nice and easy one from before the smartphone decided to take over my life. But I have to change my data package to drop back to the dumbphone, and lose a really sweet deal I have been grandfathered in to. No dice. So the next day I hauled my butt through 107 degrees of rollicking heat to the cell phone store to give them the possessed smartphone and get a new one to replace it. Now I have ranted in many a blog about my adverse relationship with technology. I still proudly claim the moniker "Abacus Girl", and think I just might be her for Halloween. I despised that phone because however wonderful the technology and apps and all that were supposed to be, I did not glean their usefulness. It was more like that darn thing tried to control me and I hated it like a rebellious teenager hates a curfew. With passion.
But this time is different. This time I know what I am doing. Over the last two years I have actually learned a thing or two about Droids and was determined this phone was going to listen to me, not the other way around. I refused all apps because they kept importing my contacts and it sucks having to scroll through 1,500 names to call my mom. I de-sync and un-merge and actually reboot the phone back to factory settings halfway through, starting over in sheer determination to not be antagonized by every beep signaling email notifications and app updates and thing the phone thinks I should be doing but am not. And I do it. It was like finding gold, I tell ya. These gadgets, phones, technology, can all be useful, but I have to break it down to suit my needs. At the end of the night I finally held up my phone, contacts added by hand, bookmarks set to Facebook and email, and not one darn app to get me there. Victorious! I go to bed with a smile for the first time ever thinking about my phone, because it is now meticulously tailored just for me. As I am falling asleep I think to myself this whole experience is a lot like my life. The factory settings of the world don't really do the trick anymore. I am still useful and can live a good life, but nowhere near as intense as before. Simpler, paired down. Ripped apart and reset to live life in a way that suits me. My way.
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