An Apple All Day by Trevor Plumbly

We blindies have problems with technology and sadly none more than yours truly; I find it frustrating jabbing away at icons which others can negotiate with ease. I try not to resent their dexterity but I reckon I’m entitled to a jaundiced overview.

new technologyThe spark for this blog was provided by a phone call the other day whilst I was hanging out the washing. This situation always poses a problem for me: do I risk injury and make a dash for it or do I feel my way safely and hope they either hold on or leave a contact number? They did neither, leaving me to ponder whether it was a double glazing salesman or someone with a real purpose in life. This in turn led me to consider the approaching death of the landline, along with the art of conversational thrust and parry, sadly replaced by an army of Bill Gates’ offspring clutching battery operated pacifiers. Not for them simple human contact, they’ve all got SMARTPHONES!!! Apart from rating up there with heart attacks as a conversation breaker, this nifty little electronic lifeline enables them to see who’s calling; it can also tell them about the weather and all sorts of other mundane stuff like where they are, and how to get where they’re going. Everyone, it seems, has them these days, which leaves me with the fear that thinking might be going out of fashion too.

A New Class System

The new toys dictate where you are in the pecking order. I was involved in a discussion recently about adapting technology for the blind and discovered to my dismay that everyone else at the table had a Smartphone (I’m beginning to hate that word). To be fair, they didn’t openly show any superiority but I did detect an undercurrent of polite sympathy causing me to ponder whether owning an ‘Android Device’ puts me into a lower intelligence bracket or a sort of second-class electronic citizenship. I don’t use the thing much these days; it seemed that every time I rang someone I got a message saying they weren’t available, which caused me to wonder why they were carrying the damn thing around with them in the first place.

Siri-ously Speaking

I’m not a total Luddite, I do use bits of technology, and thoroughly appreciate some of the advantages; Audio Books and Spotify’ for instance are a total joy along with on-line crosswords. I use ‘Siri’ and ‘Google’, but sparingly as I’m just not convinced that surrendering too much of my thought processing to a machine is all that healthy, nor, I’ve discovered, is opening your door to Social Media. In a fit of ill-advised enthusiasm, I joined Facebook and now get daily pleas from people I have absolutely no interest in who are keen to be my friend. I’ve tried to quit the thing but like exclusive religious orders, it’s a lot tougher to actually leave than to join.

SoftwareBut the principal concern should be for children: giving them open access to this sort of technology seems irresponsible to me, it’s too much of an opiate for young minds, discouraging questioning by providing as it does, instant and unearned entertainment along with a cheap source of knowledge. Finally, texting, at all ages, despite its widespread use, has done little or nothing to promote good language use or the basic courtesies of communication. It might date me, but I reckon those niceties of life alone are worth a heck of a lot more than a couple of lines of cryptic scribble.

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6 Comments on “An Apple All Day by Trevor Plumbly

  1. If I might drag you into the 21st century, old chap, Android is actually an operating system (OS) for (inter alia) smartphones. In fact, it’s more popular this side of the ditch than Apple’s OS.

    • Of course there may be the odd flaw in my logic and indeed weaknesses in the substance of the text. We free thinkers accept, and indeed welcome, these aberrations. We feel it adds a piquancy to dialogue lost in the 21st Century and outside the capabilities of Google. (See also, Malaprop Mrs and Spooner The Rev) T.

  2. I know how you feel about Facebook. My daughter, your esteemed colleague on this blog, told me to join so that I could see numerous pictures of my faraway grandchildren. But I, like you, didn’t know these strange people who wanted to befriend me and on Em’s (the daughter) page I got pictures of birthdays, weddings and other minutiae of people I knew no better than Adam (except better clothed in some cases). But could I get off Facebook – not on your proverbial. At long last I am relieved of the responsibility of Facebook and just wait for said pictures to come in the post. By the way, Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. Regarding Facebook. I have found that I’ve had to block several posts of people I am following. And also on friend some people. I’m not into hearing everybody’s political view or see pictures of what they had for breakfast lunch or dinner. But I do keep my page mostly for my business and helping my husband with his. I wish people would think about what they’re posting. On another note you can post something and make it so only certain people can see it. And I wish more people would use that filter.

    I have a Mac, iPad and a iPhone. Because of my visual impairment I use all those every day and help me do my job and my day-to-day tasks. I have an iPad air one thinking about going to an iPad pro. And recently been thinking about getting a Apple TV sent cable sorry is starting to become annoying. Too many ads. Also thinking about getting a Apple Watch just for fun. A lot of people will buy a fun sports car or something expensive. But because of my visual impairment my idea of getting something expensive and fun for me would be more like a Apple Watch.
    Your friend Chelsea

    • Hi Chelsea, thanks for reading and the comments, personally I’ve never felt at ease round people that worship cars. Get Spotify for convenience, get a Smartwatch for fun and, above all, stay as positive as you sound now. Best thoughts from a fellow ‘Blindy’. Trevor.

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