Life through my myopic eyes.

Too Much Phone

I have had my Blackberry Curve for about a year now. (And yes, that is Buzz Lightyear‘s reflection in the phone.) I got a really good deal on it and only pay £15 a month on my phone plan.

Apart from the fact that the buttons are a little on the small size I’ve gotten on with it fairly well. Technologically it is not on-par with the iPhone, or even the iPad, in terms of quality of downloads (it can take ages to buffer and still gives you a choppy “outer space” video to watch.

But I decided I needed to gear my mobile communications device up into the 21st century. I could not afford an iPhone 4 or 5 and no other manufacturer could come close to them. Unless of course you want to purchase a “no brand” phone and then you just look cheap.

After looking at the other phones on offer at the Tesco’s electrical section, I opted for the Blackberry. My daughter Meg had one when she went to university and it was pretty handy. Although neither of us could figure out how to use the internet option or the Wi-Fi application, despite the fact that the city that she lived in was one huge Wi-Fi hotspot.

I didn’t have that problem with mine. I could jump on any Wi-Fi signal and could read my emails unhindered.


I have only been able to email myself a couple of times. Both times were because I was too lazy to find the usb connector that allowed me to attach the phone to my laptop and upload a picture. When I attempted to email myself last night it failed each and every time I tried it. And before you say anything, it was not an email address associated with my Blackberry.

In the end I had to give up and look for the damn usb connector and upload that way. Now at least I can do my blog post about our latest Quorn recipes and our reaction to them.

But the fact that I’ve had the phone for so long and still haven’t mastered the full use of it says a lot. I am not technologically stupid or stunted. I have in my time hooked up external hard drives via a pig-tail connection to an existing computer. I have installed new graphics cards and extra memory cards for RAM.

So why can’t I come to grips with everything that my phone can do?

I only discovered last night (completely by accident, mind you) how to zoom my Blackberry camera to take close up pictures! If I hadn’t brushed my finger across the “mouse” button on the phone, I still wouldn’t know how to zoom.

Of course you might be asking, “Why didn’t you just read the instruction manual?” Good question. I did sort of read it. Which means that I skip read and probably missed loads of things that my phone can do. But that would be the total amount of “research” I would have done when I got the phone.

These days you can Google most questions you might have on your new “product” and find an immediate answer to your particular dilemma. If you can be bothered that is.

But I guess the point I’m trying to make is this. I think I “over bought” in the phone department. The Blackberry might be perfect for a businessman or the entrepreneur who wants to look stunningly professional. But I don’t really think it fits my somewhat limited needs.

There is a scene in one of my favourite westerns True Grit, I hasten to add that it is the John Wayne 1969 film that I’m referring to here, Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) has just shot a turkey with his prized .56 Sharps Rifle. [Now the .56 Sharps was used to shoot buffalo, not turkeys.] As La Boeuf stands holding the dead bird, with a look of pride on his face, Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) pauses in mid conversation and nods at the turkey. “And we’ll clean your turkey.”

Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) says, “I don’t know how, it looks all messed up.”

Rooster grins and says, “Yeah.”

Then as an aside to Mattie, Rooster says, “Too much gun.”

I kind of feel like La Boeuf right now, every time I go to do something on my Blackberry phone and get stymied or have to search for instructions I can hear Rooster in my head saying, “Too much phone.”



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Categorised in: Entertainment, Personal, Reflective, Social

11 Responses »

  1. Funnily enough I just bought that film this morning. Pack of 3 DVD from Asda, £5!! Bargain :)

  2. I just got off work. I drove home in heavy morning traffic and I am tired, I thought the article said Too Much Phone Sex. My bad. Good article, Mike!

  3. I actually find the phone part of my phone to be the least used. I like it for all of the gizmos: the GPS, internet surfing, updating Facebook, and using it as a tethered modem for my laptop. That’s actually the only thing on my plan that I get my money’s worth out of. The phone itself is wasted, pretty much.

  4. I had the same phone. Now I have the Torch, but Garry still has the one you do. He can do email and make phone calls,synch his phone with our shared calendar. The reason we both wound up with Blackberries and not iPhones was simple: iPhones have pathetic voice quality for making phone calls. So do most smartphone. Blackberry is the only one that seems to care whether or not you can actually hear the person on the other end of the call..

    No one, apparently, makes real phone calls anymore, so the phone manufacturers aren’t interested in telephone voice quality. Everyone is obsessed by apps … they just want to know what apps they can use. They text, they play games, take pictures …. but they don’t use the phone as a phone.

    Thing is, we DO use the phone ONLY as a phone or other communication purposes, — email. I hate texting and refuse to use it. My husband never will either. That’s not because he or I don’t know how. It’s because we don’t want to.

    I am missing the pointy little thumbs that make texting convenient for younger people. It’s a genetic adaptation I don’t have. My thumbs do thumb-centric things like grasping tools: they are not good for typing except touch typing where they are good for whacking at the space bar.

    I have a desktop, I have a big laptop, I have a net book, and I have a Kindle HD 7″ tablet. I have two Olympus PEN cameras and 4 lenses plus a small superzoom point & shoot Canon I keep in my bag. My telephone is really good for three things: making and receiving phone calls, synchronizing with Outlook’s calendar so Garry and I know who’s going to which doctor and when, and email.

    I use a camera for taking pictures and a computer for most everything else. I know that my Torch has a ton of capabilities I never use and I don’t care. I don’t want to use them. Twice I have used it to take a picture because it was the only thing available. Otherwise, I like cameras for photography, computers for computing, GPS units for navigation, and telephones for talking to people on ….tada … the telephone.

    Befre you berate yourself for not knowing how to use your phone to do things that you probably are already doing on other devices, ponder if you really need to run your blog from your phone. I mean, really, are you on the road so much and that’s the only mobile device available to you?

    I’m not trying to be difficult, but I don’t understand why anyone feels a pressing need to use one tiny, inconvenient device to do things that are so much easier to do on a bigger device … which they already OWN.

    How well do I understand my phone? Enough to do what I need to do. It has good audio for TELEPHONE CALLS! It’s a telephone, you know?

    FYI: here in the states, Blackberry has insanely good customer phone service. They WILL fix your phone, even if they have to keep you on the phone all night with you begging them to let you go to sleep please …. Been there. I don’t call them unless I have a spare day in front of me because there’s no such thing as a short call to Blackberry customer service. They’ll answer the question you wanted answered, then decide to make sure that every other feature of your phone is working up to par and if it isn’t, you are going to get it working. If customer service can be too good, they have succeeded.

    • Odd, isn’t it? It seems that now folks want a toy (or put other apt description here) instead of a phone, as you say. I text more often than I talk, mainly because the amount of people I would ever talk to on my mobile (cell) equals about three people! As most of them text as well, it is what I use the most. I like the cameras on phones as I’ll always have a phone on me, but not necessarily a camera. Great feedback as always! Cheers mate!! :-D

  5. I have a Windows phone and am pretty pleased with it (minus the fact that the WordPress app doesn’t work). I use it for absolutely everything.

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