Thursday, April 10, 2014

Future shock

The day started all right. I picked some flowers - granted, slugs have been crawling up the stems of some of my daffodils (such as the pale one above) and eating them, but that's life.

Then we went up town and bought some books and walked down to Princes Street.

That was fine. The sun was shining.

We looked at people lying on the grass in Princes Street Gardens and thought, how nice.

Then Mr L said casually that we could just pop into a phone shop and discuss getting new phones. Mine is a bit wonky sometimes but it usually works and is nice and simple. His is coming to the end of its contract and he likes new things. I should have been more wary. Instead I looked idly at the ornate plaster ceiling in the phone shop and wondered who put it up and who decided on the patterns and what they would have thought if they'd known about mobile phones.

And then I found myself agreeing that I should probably embrace the 21st century and get a smart phone. Most people can manage them. Surely I could?

This turned out to be a big mistake.

We wandered on home, glaring at the horrible tram wires for our new, so far passengerless, trams, as illustrated above.

Then Daughter 2 texted me and Mr L showed me how to text back and it was HORRIBLE. I  hadn't realised that it would be a qwerty keyboard and yes, I'm using one now, but I'm touch typing. I don't know where the letters are. My fingers know, as long as I type fast, but my eyes have no idea. And my fingers are also much too big for the teeny wee letters. Look, there's my enormous little finger. Well, yes, it's a lot smaller than Mr L's forefinger, which he manages to text with. But - arrgghh.

I wish people would stop inventing things.

Do you remember that book called "Future Shock" that was written by Alvin Toffler in 1970 about how there was too much change in too short a period of time for us to cope with? Yes, well. I'm suffering from it now - delayed future shock. I've just looked Toffler up and he appears to be still alive and aged 85. I imagine he's coping fine with his smart phone.


  1. You'll get the hang of it I suppose( I don't own one but have 2 computers which I prefer.)

    Those are lovely Spring flowers. Is that flowering currant? I love Hyacinth perfume too.
    I recognised that road!It leads up to the castle I can spy in the distance.

  2. Try a stylus? Apparently though teeny-tiny keyboards are out anyway, it's all touch screens - or is that what you've got?

    I've still got my 10 year old Nokia little blue dumbphone, and quite happy I am too. I can just about text but Tom can't and can't work out how to pick them up, and we're the only people we contact on them anyway.

  3. Ahhhh, now you have hit a nerve. My husband loves electronics and figuring out how all these new devises work. He is on the cutting edge with his phone and constantly tells me to 'upgrade'. I will stick with my old flip phone. Instead of figuring out the latest technology, I'd rather be quilting, puttering in the garden, or taking care of the chickens. I enjoy simple things. Patty MC

  4. Mum - you can definitely change the settings on some phones so that it gives you a "phone keypad" when you're texting, rather than a QWERTY one. Since it was Dad's idea, maybe he could do the fiddling around to find out...

  5. Yes you can, as K says, and you can look at it in landscape mode too if you aren't already. A stylus can be useful. Come on Isabelle, you can do it, I'm a bit older than you.......!

  6. Isabelle, I'm with you all the way here. Ken has been at me to use his old Iphone but I flatly refuse. My 10 year old Nokia is for making phone calls - not taking photos, not texting, just TALKING. My fingers can't cope with tiny keys either, and when he bought me a Samsung tablet thing, he had to buy a separate keyboard for me to use as I dislike touch typing on those flat screens.
    Alvin Toffler...I still have Future Shock on my bookshelf, along with Power Shift and The Third Wave. Have you read any of Gordon Rattray Taylor's books - along the same lines? Those guys were light years ahead of their time.

  7. i think everyone has a point at which they just give up ... my grandma lost it in the mid 1990s at the fax machine. She just could not figure out how a letter could fit down the phone line, so she called it magic and forgot about it. I sometimes wonder what my give up point will be in a few decades - bionic eyes? chips wired into my brain? jet packs?

  8. I'm with you. I still have my old,old Nokia and it's fine but I'm also with Lynley in wondering what my give-up point will be. I want to keep up so that I can still function autonomously. Two weeks in Japan has proved to me that not speaking the language is more than inconvenient, it reduces you to little child status - utterly dependant on someone else.

  9. I finally gave in last year and got an iPhone, and I love it. The ability to take a photo at the drop of a hat….for instance when the dog and cat are looking cute together... I can just get it out of my pocket without disturbing them to go and get a camera, and can then also send the pic to my son. Predictive text usually irons out most miss hits on the keyboard I find.

  10. You're hysterical! And I love K's comment -- it reminds me of my kids, always helping me LOL.

    Did you get an iphone? Either way, I'm assuming "it" has a camera and you'll LOVE it for photos. You'll get used to it. And once you do, have the kids set you up on Instagram -- then I can see the babies every day!!! ;-D Oooh, and if you have your e-mail tied to your phone, I think I could send you text messages! ;-D ;-D ;-D

    All in good time ....

  11. I do remember Future Shock...It came with covers in lots of different colors, to make his point.
    So far I've resisted smart phones!And texting, too. But I love having a cell phone, though it has ruined a lot of plots for mystery books.

  12. As a fellow chubby-fingered person , I sympathise . I got so exasperated with my , by now rather elderly , 'phone that it sits in the back of a kitchen drawer ...
    And I really don't miss it .

  13. I would like to point out that I do not have particularly chubby fingers! Other portions of my anatomy could be thus described, but my fingers - especially the tips - are fairly unchubby. (But the sympathy is appreciated all the same.)