Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Phones these days

I’ve had five cell phones in my lifetime. Most of them have cost hundreds of dollars, but my family bought them for a lower price with 2-year contracts so that we wouldn’t notice ourselves getting ripped off over time. I’d be okay with this if any of these phones were useful, but no matter what, most of the time, my phone doesn’t work.

Why? It drops calls. It fails to pick up calls. It can’t run most apps. The apps that it can run are really slow. The touch screen malfunctions. It shuts down when I try to send texts. It gets stuck on one screen for ten minutes at a time. It restarts.

The phone tells me 50 percent of the battery is spent keeping the backlight on. I keep the screen on the dimmest light setting possible. I downloaded an app to turn it lower than the phone itself allows. The app probably isn’t working. The battery only lasts if I don’t use the phone and then it sits there, mocking me. Go ahead. Use Snapchat.

I don’t walk around with the power of the World Wide Web and Verizon’s 4G LTE network in my hand. I walk around with a phone charger in my pocket and fear in my heart, traveling between power outlets hoping the unspeakable doesn’t happen. My phone is a pop-up shop. My phone is a food truck.

It used to vibrate when I got texts. One day, it stopped. Sometimes, I check the settings to see if there’s any way to change it back, but it’s still set to “vibrate.” Now, it vibrates whenever something happens on Facebook. I don’t know how to turn that off.

The only way I know that I have a text is the blinking light on the top of my phone. I’ve gotten hypersensitive to blinking lights in the corner of my vision.

Is that a text? Did I get a text?

My phone’s processor is called “SnapDragon.” When I try to use the camera, the Kodak moment passes at least 15 seconds before my phone is finally ready. Then I try to take a photo anyway and it goes in and out of focus, crashes, and then maybe the phone resets. Do not wake the SnapDragon.

“What’s he getting at?” You’re probably wondering. “Is he making a commentary on the quality of high-priced cell phones and planned obsolescence designed to get us to keep on buying?”

No. Just stop complaining about iOS7. I wish I had an iPhone.

Kevin Flynn is a Senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying computer science. He can be reached at ksflynn@bu.edu.

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One Comment

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