L.B.M. part two

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Well, I am sure that it will come as no surprise to you to discover that L.B.M. (Life Before Mobiles) part two, is no longer about life without mobiles, but actually about life with them. (Part one, by the way, is here.)  Furthermore, I now realise that a large number of my readers will have no idea whatsoever of what I mean by ‘Mobile’ and I, therefore, regret the original title anyway.  For many of you, what I mean is cell-phone.  I could, I suppose, change the title to L.B.C-P part two, but it sounds unwieldy and, anyway, if we’re going to be pedantic here, it should by now be ‘Life With Cell-Phones’ and therefore no longer ‘part two’ anyway.  Too confusing.  Please accept that like all self-respecting sequels, this follow-up has little to do with its predecessor and serves simply to deliver us at the foothills of part three.  I hope you understand.  You don’t?  No, me neither…

So, having established in ‘part one’ that my mobile phone has all manner of features that a telephone box does not, I will take a little peek at what I can find on my own home screen to try and describe what some of them are.  This will not take long because I have an iPhone and it is only a matter of minutes before the battery runs out…

I have BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, More4, YouTube, Netflix and all manner of other pieces of technological wizardry that allow me to watch TV and film on demand.  Except that I don’t, because I can’t see them.  When my wife and I got married, we had a fourteen inch Black & White TV and 20/20 vision.  Being a get-up-and-go, aspirational couple, we bought a colour TV when we moved into our first house – it was also a fourteen inch – and we quite happily watched that little box until our children wanted us to have something that they weren’t ashamed of.  Since then, the size of our TV has grown as our eyesight has failed.  We are currently on forty-three inches of LCD, whatever that is*, which is where we have been forced to stop as the space between wall and fireplace will not accommodate anything bigger unless we extend the house, so our chairs are getting closer.  The chances of me being able to follow anything on the tiny screen of my phone are miniscule (as, indeed, are the tiny ant-figures that lurch hither and thither across it).  I have the normal ‘old person’ failing of not being able to see anything that is dark – when the screen is also little more than the size of a decent biscuit, I am lost.  I do not know what is going on most of the time when I am watching a film on the giant screen at a cinema: on a postage stamp I have no chance.

I also have the Kindle app which allows me access to all of the books that I have on my Kindle proper but, crucially, smaller.  It gives me options: I can view a page of Lilliputian dimensions, readable only with one of those full-page magnifying glasses that my grandma used to have for reading Woman’s Own; or I can have a readable font size that means there are about six words to a page and none of them forming a recognisable sentence.  I read text messages on my phone and WhatsApp missives, but nothing that is supposed to make sense.

As far as I can see, I don’t appear to have Facebook, Instagram or Twitter on my phone.  At least, if I do, I have no idea how to find them.  I do not really have a Social Media presence, although I am a regular user of the family WhatsApp group, if only to see what the grandkids are still prepared to allow me a little window into their lives.  I know that, sooner or later, they will start to keep me at arms length, so as long as they want to spend time with me – even virtually – I embrace the chance with every fibre of my will.  And we Facetime – as long as they call me – and when they’ve gone I experience the sensation of feeling hollow yet full at the same time: like looking at a croissant on the morning of the night after the bottle of scotch before.

It will all make sense when we get to part three – I think.  I cannot promise, because I haven’t finished it yet, having only just decided that part two finishes here… 

*It used to be a cheap supermarket watch that failed to work as soon as you pushed the little button on the side for the first time and from that point onwards continually blinked ’88:88’ until you hit it with something hard.

L.B.M part three is here

25 thoughts on “L.B.M. part two

  1. I must be experiencing a little brain fade, because all I can think of is “WhatsApp group? Facetime?
    Say what now?” No, wait, no, I don’t need to know, tiz all good here where the trees grow slowly, the tomato ripens at the same pace and all is jubbly and full of juice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Avoided WhatsApp for many years purely because of the name but the birth of my daughter forced me to embrace it because her grandparents (not generally all that tech savvy) pretty much insisted. I still hate the name but it has proven a pandemic essential.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. WhatsApp scared me at first, too many people chatting away so fast that I hadn’t a clue what was going on. But like you, it’s helped a lot during the pandemic – a way of connecting to lots of people at once, so it feels more like a conversation. I don’t understand why contacting someone via WhatsApp isn’t called Zapping (tsapping) though. I keep trying to introduce it as a thing, but I’m getting blank stares all round.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The telephone box reminds me of so many things old.
    One, the government never had enough faith in us to build those self-operated stuff. They knew that Indians, by design, are highly creative and will find a way to bypass the payment.
    Hence, we had private owned PCOs (Public Calling Offices). My pocket money was negligible. It began with 10 Rupees a month in 1992 (USD 0.15) and ended at 200 Rupees a month in 2010 (USD 2.7) at its highest. So, I never had enough money to make a call except the one distress call that I made to my boyfriend (now, husband).
    Second, my parents never trusted me around phone, so when they got me a mobile phone in 2008, so they could call me, it never had enough balance for me to call anyone for more than two minutes.
    Third, in Harry Potter’s part five, how did six people cram in that place with enough space to make the call?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have a pretty dumb smartphone because I just can’t force myself to pay several hundred dollars for one, so I don’t have a lot of apps. I don’t do Social Media as a general rule. I do have the Kindle App but it can be pretty hard to follow when the font is legible.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. Yes I do. Since my wife discovered through Ancestry DNA last year that my father may not have been my biological father at all I have no way to tell. She’s narrowed it down to the US state of Georgia, though, so we are probably just spirit brothers.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Apparently I actually have a smart phone, but I use it as a brick, but also the flashlight on it, Clock alarm and take photos on it, I’ve used the flashlight, but not the calendar, calculator and what is the Adobe, the flashplayer, Dropbox, Duckmode, Hangouts, WTF is Sim? or Polaris… OMG it’s got a mirror (I hadn’t noticed) LOL and other stuff in “Apps” I’m never gonna use.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. oops {{{squinting}}} getting closer to see it’s: Dock Mode / Polaris Office. I remember this one Duolingo of which I played with that for a while. All the stuff on it is from the original owner who I know well, who traded it up and sold it for £20 to me a troglodyte, semi~luddite, technophobe.

        Liked by 2 people

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