According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a technophobe is a person who fears, dislikes, or avoids new technology and so this means I am a technophobe. I have written before about my reluctance to try any new piece of equipment, mainly because everything I have, I can work and I am fine with that.
My opinion on this is starting to change. I am beginning to understand that technology is designed to be easy to use and it wouldn’t be popular if it was difficult. So technophobia is a choice. It is not that I can’t work new things, it is simply that I don’t want to.
The pandemic has forced me (like many people) to adapt. I can now successfully operate You Tube, I have downloaded (though admittedly, hardly touched) Spotify and I finally understand why everyone uses chip and pin rather than carrying lots of coins. There is a great satisfaction in ‘conquering’ a new piece of tech, even if the rest of the world has been using it for years.
It has become obvious to me that my life would be better if I didn’t keep using paper maps and out of date bus timetables, printing out paperwork or just hoping nothing has changed since I left the house. So this week, I took a major step forward when, for the first time in over a decade, I decided to order a new mobile phone.
As there are no shops open I can avoid the problem of a shop assistant having to explain things to me like I have been in a coma since Queen Victoria’s time. Instead, Amazon will have to do. I typed phone into the search and I was informed there were ‘over 60,000’. Why the number was so vague is a side issue. I have no idea what makes a good phone and so I settled on one that fitted my price range and had a high number of stars from other reviewers. It was the ‘OPPO A5 2020 Snapdragon 665 5000 mAh Dual Sim 12 MP Ultra Wide Quad’. There is pretty much nothing in this description that I understand. Neither have I any idea about what I will do with the ‘internal gyroscope’ or why it matters that ‘It combines Frame Boost and Touch Boost’.
I decided not to pay the extra £4.99 for the next day delivery but it arrived the next day anyway. Because my old phone is a museum piece surely worthy of display next to plastic cups connected with string, I had to order a new SIM card. I learned this from a website as none of the words in ‘OPPO A5 2020 Snapdragon 665 5000 mAh Dual Sim 12 MP Ultra Wide Quad’ translate in English as ‘manual included’.
Automated phone services are always a nightmare and I learned a while ago that the best way to navigate the robot voiced menus is to repeatedly press numbers that are not one of the options. Eventually you get a human. Mine was called Owen. I don’t know why this was important, but he told me three times. I was ready with a ruler to measure the slot to work out what size I needed but as everyone (except me) knows, new SIM cards are all the same size.
“The best way to get a new SIM is from one of our authorised retailers” Owen informed me.
“Do phone shops count as essential retail” I asked, knowing that they didn’t and as such, were all shut. Owen paused.
“Well, as a special treat, I can send one out to you free of charge, saving you £1.50” came his reply. I very much enjoy that for Owen a £1.50 SIM card counts as a special treat.
While I wait for this, I have managed to install the updates, download a couple of apps and correctly attach the case. Weirdly, getting the case on was the hardest of those tasks.
I am still not caught up yet on all this technology though, I have never used a TV streaming service or taken a photo with anything other than a camera while the point of posting anything on social media hasn’t really become clear to me. But these are things for another day, I am still figuring out what to do with my internal gyroscope.