Is More Advanced Actually More Improved?

Written by BG Howard

February 1, 2023

I woke recently, much the same as I do most every morning, and instinctively attached to my technological umbilical chord (cell phone) after spending time in prayer, much the same as I do most every morning. I was poised to start the day with a litany of things on my “to do” list that had to be accomplished by that evening.

An incoming call, from someone with whom I’d not spoken for quite some time, to my still relatively new cell interjected a serious wrench into the day’s plans. When I picked up the new “smart phone” and connected the ear buds (fancy for expensive ear phones) the greeting came through loud and clear. Much to my surprise however, the individual on the other end of the line couldn’t hear anything I said. Consequently, the ear piece had to be unplugged but the “state of the art” waterproof case I’d purchased to protect my “extremely advanced electronic communications device” creates a situation whereby, without the ear piece, the caller on the other end hears an echo. The end result; anyone speaking to me without my using the ear buds reports a sound similar to yelling with their head inside a fifty-five gallon drum (country for big can).

As a result of my “extremely advanced electronic communications device” not working properly, plans for the day were run completely off into the ditch. Of course, the first assumption was that the ear buds had developed a problem so I changed them out with an extra pair but that didn’t resolve the issue. Two pairs of ear buds with the exact same problem had me rather heated and I proposed to stop in the store to give the department manager a few choice “words of encouragement.” The situation became more serious after my locating the receipt and realizing the newer pair of the two had only been in use fewer than six days.

The trip to the electronics store had to be made during the process of my trying to get around to completing work outside before the pending rain so there was no time to share a bit of country wisdom with the manager. Instead, I was content that the relatively green sales associate didn’t have the slightest inkling as to what I was saying and reasoned it better to simply exchange the ear buds for a new pair.

Once back at the house, I tried the new ear buds with my “extremely advanced electronic communications device” only to realize the same problem was evident with them as well. I was also faced with a new issue in that the touch screen no longer responded to my touch. In the process of removing the state of the art waterproof case required to protect my “extremely advanced communication device,” I inadvertently turned off the power. After figuring out how to remove the case, I powered the phone up again to discover everything functioning the way it was designed.

By mid-afternoon I was feeling somewhat unaccomplished, quite irritated and frankly, borderline stupid. When I phoned the Customer Service Department of my service provider and detailed the experience, a spry agent by the name of Ms. Angelica disclosed that the “extremely advanced communications device” I owned was much more advanced than the phone used previously. In fact, as I explained to her, it wasn’t until my old phone finally couldn’t be repaired any more because the components were no longer manufactured that I’d conceded to getting a smart phone. Ms. Angelica informed that the “extremely advanced communications device” I now have is much more advanced and requires it to be powered off every few days or the type issues I experienced would continue to occur. By the time Ms. Angelica finished explaining all the do’s and don’ts of the new smart phone; I’d reasoned the sole purpose of the technology is to prove just how “unsmart” we are as consumers.

What ever happened to the day when a phone was simply that: a phone, manufactured for the sole purpose of communicating with family and friends? At this point, cell phones have become so “advanced” that they’re more comparable to mini computers and, remarkably, seem to break or simply stop working about the same time “new and improved” versions become available. Of course, with everything that is more advanced comes a more advanced pricing structure. The new and improved smart phones on the market now cost more than I paid for my first “pre-owned” (fancy for used) car. It’s been long understood that nothing is what it used to be but I debate that, in truth, nothing is as good as it used to be either. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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