Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

The iPhone Surrender


Okay, so I give up: I’m getting a damn iPhone.

I’ve put it off and put it off and PUT IT OFF, because one of my worst eccentricities is that I really truly honestly absolutely positively do NOT want an electronic tether around my neck.

No. I love you dearly, but I do not want you to be able to flag me down and yak at me while I’m driving my car or wandering around a shopping center or diving into my swimming pool or sitting in a movie theater or trying to learn how to sing some complicated musical arrangement in choir or what-freaking-EVER.

After three weeks of electronic torture, no: I do not welcome anymore techno-learning curves, techno-hoop-jumps, or techno-hassles.

But…alas. It does look like there’s no choice. Toting a cell phone around is now the standard. And you can’t very well get out of it these days.

Well. Once I tried an Android phone, purchased through T-Mobile. It was just horrible. No matter what I tried to do, I simply could not learn how to use the damn thing. Finally gave up, disconnected, and tossed the accursed thing in a box behind a bookcase.

We’re told the iPhone is easiest for the elderly to learn to use, compared to all the other obnoxious gadgets out there. And during the several lengthy, brain-banging visits I’ve had to make to Apple stores over the past three weeks, I’ve looked at these doodads and decided…yeah… I don’t want to clutter my mind with this crap, but…it’s probably easier-to-swallow clutter than most. Looks like I’ve got at least a shot of learning how to use the thing.

A-n-n-n-n-d… It appears that TracFone, which sells service by the minute, makes itself available to practically any phone for which you have a sim card (i.e., you don’t have to buy the gadget from them; you don’t have to let them “lock” it so you can’t use it with any other carrier). And the folks at Target will get those minutes downloaded into the phone for you.

Maybe. If they don’t, then one of the Apple dudes advised that In His Humble Opinion, Verizon is the best (of a bad lot) among the cell carriers.

So. I’ve purchased a sim card at the Target.

Next step, if I can ever get quit of climbing out from under the pile of work that didn’t get done during the past three weeks of computer nightmares, will be to drive way to hell and gone back out to Scottsdale, purchase an iPhone, purchase an AppleCare contract, and have them set the damn thing up for me. Then drive way to hell and gone back into Phoenix, present myself at a Target store’s electronics counter, and have them sign me up for enough minutes to figure out how to use the thing. Then figure out how many minutes I would need during the course, of, say, three months or six months; buy that amount of time; and use it to practice using the thing.

The Apple Genius I talked with the other day recommended NOT deep-sixing the land line (which really isn’t a land line but in truth is VOiP. Thus I keep the phone number used for The Copyeditor’s Desk (along with the NoMoRobo that helps, to a modest extent, to block nuisance calls). But…I end up with an iPhone that can do several things:

  • Make calls while I’m roaming around
  • Send text messages
  • Function as a mobile computer
  • Function as a camera and upload direct to iCloud
  • Let me read and answer emails on the fly
  • Track my movements everywhere I go, potentially reporting them to Big Brother or Big Advertiser
  • And jangle me up in the privacy of my car when, thankyouverymuch, I would prefer to be left alone


Since I now have a half-dozen dormant cell phones that can be used to dial  911 (assuming they’re kept charged), I can set these things around the house in places where I could reach them if I’ve fallen on the floor and hurt myself too badly to get up. Then I can cancel the land line (getting rid of a stiff charge from Cox) and use the iPhone as my primary phone number.

That’s something.

I guess.

Author: funny

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  1. I turn the sound off on my phone when I’m in the car or whenever I don’t want to be interrupted.

    • Yes. I think my son’s is off all the time. The trick is to remember to turn it off in places where jangling phones are inappropriate…like in a church or a movie. 😀

    • On the other hand, even when the thing is turned off, it’s still tracking your location. I think these devices are highly invasive of one’s privacy.

  2. Go into settings and click on Do Not Disturb. Scroll all the way down. The penultimate toggle is Do Not Disturb While Driving. Activate it automatically. Below that is the notification. You can set it to text anyone who tries to contact you that you are driving and will get back to them.

    Doing it this way means you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off.

  3. We’ve turned the location function off on our Android phones, partly to avoid tracking but mostly to prolong battery life. I don’t know if the same functionality is available on iPhones. Of course, doing this would probably mean that “Do Not Disturb While Driving” wouldn’t work.

    I like my smartphone as a device, but I’m not crazy about it as a phone. I’m seriously considering replacing it with a regular cell phone, and using the apps where wi-fi is available. Of course, I’ve been considering this for years, so the change is probably not imminent.

    • My understanding is that you can’t turn it off. As long is the phone is on at all, it’s bouncing signals off cell towers, and that fact alone makes it possible to track you.

      It was interesting that the Apple guy suggested NOT getting rid of the land line. And again, when you think about it: even without the benefit of the copper wiring (which does not go down when the power goes off…), a land line has the advantage of being able to support a half-dozen phone extensions, giving you a phone in every room. Not so with one (1) outrageously expensive cell phone.

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