In My Lifetime

So.

It’s getting to be that time of year again for me! My birthday is coming up. I shall in 2 weeks be 24 years old!

Can you believe it. nearly a quarter of a century on Earth. Born out of no where onto this planet and survived 24 years.

I was thinking the other day about what was significant for me in these years. Or significant for the world, rather.

A lot of significant things have happened in my lifetime that has shaped me and my view of the world. My parents used to tell me that in their lifetime, there were a lot of new things. TVs, computers, phones, cameras, etc.

But there have been new things in my lifetime too. And to add, I have seen things die down in my lifetime also.

  1. The invention of smart phones. Quite recent in my lifetime. But still. Very big. I even remember when the smart phones were still in the pipelines, and the first smart device was an iPod touch. Does anyone remember those? It was the first device on which you could surf the internet, download “apps” to play games and connect with others. Huge! Then came the iPhone and Android.

    But these things kind of came without any big hoopla about them. Now, it’s an everyday item. For everyone. Even children.

    I’m sure in the future, paediatricians will add milestones for babies such as “can handle small electronic device such as phone or tablet” and “can use index finger to open apps on a mobile device” Probably as young as 6 months! Wouldn’t that be something.

  2. Internet/mobile banking. This was something that came up during my lifetime. No longer did my parents need to “go down to the bank” to carry out tasks such as opening a new account, applying for a card, taking out loans, etc. Again, pretty big.
  3. E-readers. Invented in my time. My beloved kindle. Can carry thousands of books at once. Your own personal library. Access to so many books at the touch of a screen. You didn’t need to go down to a library or book store to see the most popular books and decide to buy them. Kindle will suggest the most popular books for you, and give you a free sample to try before you buy! Very cool.
  4. Social networking. When I was very young, there was MSN messenger and Yahoo! messenger. As I grew up, there was bebo, MySpace, and then finally, the pinnacle of it all, Facebook. Then of course there was Twitter and Instagram, etc. But the idea of social networking grew massively in my lifetime. Globalisation was a concept they taught relentlessly in social science at high school. And it really was that. Not only was the world’s newest products, businesses and ideas available to everyone, so are people! The growth of “influencers” on the internet has been exponential in my opinion. You can literally say anything and thousands of people will hear it! People follow strangers and become fans just by watching videos on YouTube or following posts on Instagram. It’s pretty amazing.
  5. Dating apps. While blind dates and online dating websites were there when I was younger, I hear the word Tinder wayyyy more these days. Again, I’m not too sure when it became so popular, but I definitely know it wasn’t this big a few years ago. And that’s pretty amazing too. I guess it falls in the social networking category, but it’s just so weird to me that you don’t have to make calls or go to a social event to meet new people any more. You have to put up a profile and a blurb about yourself (which by the way I’m not even sure would be true for most people. You’ve got to either talk yourself up too much or too little) and a picture, and boom! You find someone who actually wants to spend a whole evening with you! Who would’ve thought! And it honestly works for a lot of people! I have a feeling this will be one of those things my parents will tell stories about in a few years. “Back in my day, we had to go out and meet people. Not meet them on a phone.”
  6. Wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi. I was a dial-up kid. Now, my house has fibre optic powered internet. While I used to wait 5 minutes for my computer to make those weird screechy noises before the Yahoo webpage would even come up, these days I complain that my 1080p movie is not loading fast enough on my big screen TV. It’s so bizarre to think about that. My internet would constantly conk out when I was younger. Not that it mattered much then, given I didn’t use the internet as much as I do now. Now, even moving buses have Wi-Fi because it’s so hard to go a few minutes without being connected to the world.
  7. Cameras. When I was younger, you still had to take your film roll to a photo shop to have the photos developed from photo negatives. Now there are people that don’t understand any part of that sentence. Now there are phones that let you take incredibly zoomed up pictures of the Moon. Now there are phones that have 5 rear cameras. There are DSLR cameras that you can share photos from directly using Wi-Fi. Taking photos and editing them and capturing something stunning and having the photos available instantly has never been easier!
  8. Movies and TV shows and music. When I was younger, you had to go see a movie in the theatres or watch a show on TV no matter what time it aired at. Or go to your nearest video store and get a tape or CD. Now things like Netflix has changed all that. While people still go to cinemas to watch movies, you can still watch new movies online and stream them to your TV

    I also used to be of the time when if an artist released new music, you had to wait in line outside your nearest store to buy the CD, get back home and play it on your stereo, then tell all your friends about it the next day. But these days, you can pre-download songs on your phone, you can take them with you wherever you go, artists tease new music online, everyone experiences it instantly on the go and everyone knows about how good it is straight away. Again, Huge.

  9. Electric cars. This is still up and coming. But Tesla, and Nissan leaf and other fully electric cars! I am still waiting for the day that petrol becomes obsolete. Because I’ve got to say, prices of fuel are just not helping anybody. I am 100% behind this cause.

 

I’m sure I could keep going. The advances in the world just in the last 24 years have been numerous. The rate at which things are changes is quite staggering. And I’ve been alive for all of this.

But some things still haven’t changed. Like listening to the radio, using a microwave oven, using a refrigerator, etc.

And not only in technology.

People still have so much appreciation for the world and it’s people. I guess the idea is still to bring everyone closer together and experience everything around the world. And there’s still so much appreciation for history. Just take a trip to Rome or Paris or Greece and you can see how people marvel at old architecture and things.

I guess if this much has changed in just 24 years, I’m in for a lot more surprises over the rest of my lifetime. That’s a lot to think about it.

But for now, I guess I’ll just try to muddle through the current things in my life and be grateful for what I have on my birthday.

🙂

A Simpler Time

Sometimes I wish I lived in an era where technology wasn’t so advanced. 

While I’ve mentioned before that having so many ways to communicate these days is a blessing, some days it just wears you down.

These days I have very little ‘in person’ contact with my friends and the people I know. I text every single one of them. And I have to say, it’s just not doing it for me.

Things seem so difficult over text. You cannot convey any emotion accurately. Basically the words on the screen can be read in any tone at all by the reader. If they want to read it lightly, they can. But they can also read it in a loud angry voice in their heads. 

I get quite frustrated by this. I want to convey that I’m sad/angry/genuinely feeling something. But all you get are black and white words on a screen. Other than the words themselves, there’s no way of knowing what I’m feeling. And if you don’t believe my words either, this is a wasted conversation.

Sure you can throw all kinds of emoticons in there (emojis for you young’uns) but even those are up for interpretation. 

Like the humble smiley face 🙂

When you want it to be, 🙂 <—- this thing can be the most sadistic message you can send someone. No joke. 

And sure you can put in emphasis 

LIKE WHEN YOU’RE READING THIS, IT’S PROBABLY QUITE LOUD IN YOUR HEAD

But then again, the words aren’t angry.

Or are they?

It’s just a bit too difficult. And also, people have very short attention spans. I could be pouring my heart out over text to someone, and they go offline or to the next app for a few minutes and just leave me hanging and wondering when they’re going to read my message and reply. 

Which would never happen if real life. If someone was crying in front of you, you wouldn’t say oh be right back just gonna check my mailbox real quick. No you’d give them your full, undivided attention (I’d hope)

That’s what I strive to do. If someone sends me a message saying they need to talk or they’re upset, I drop everything and listen for as long as I possibly can until they’re feeling better. And I would never leave them on “read”. 

And that’s another thing. With so many ways these days of knowing if someone got your message, it’s hard not to ask yourself “well they saw the message, why aren’t they replying?”

Whereas back then, if you called someone on the phone, you’d know whether they would talk to you, or if they don’t pick up, they’re actually doing something else or are busy. It just doesn’t feel good to be ignored. Makes you feel unimportant. It makes you feel like you’re bothering your so-called “friends”. I never want anyone who came to me to feel that way. 

Even people who haven’t spoken to you in a while. You think to yourself, well they have Facebook. They could just message me. Why aren’t they making the effort? 
Whereas back then, if two people have drifted apart, staying in contact is actually physically difficult. So they just fade away and everybody moves on with the people who are currently in their vicinity. Atleast you can tell yourself that it really is hard to stay in contact. Not that they didn’t make the effort. 

But this should go both ways, I mean. You have to make the effort too. 

But I feel these days, people don’t. I think I’m trying too hard putting effort in, in a time period where I don’t belong. 

I just want to talk out loud. In person or on the phone. Sure, texting means people can think about their replies before they say them and maybe that’ll stop people from saying stupid things (in theory). But it doesn’t really always work that way and it takes too long to get your point across. And by then, they’ve already sent 5 messages and are interpreting the tone of your messages inaccurately. 

I just wish there weren’t so many ways that I can be misunderstood or feel ignored. If people aren’t going to put in effort, I think it’s better they fade away out of sight and become difficult to contact. 

New Laptop!!

So I’ve had a bit of a hiatus in blogging recently. There were actually quite a few draft posts that I haven’t finished.

And the reason for that was because my HP laptop broke while I was in India. In my last couple of days, in fact. A big crack across the screen and an unresponsive keyboard.

Not fun.

Luckily for me, my computer was touchscreen so I was able to use the onscreen keyboard until I got a new one. But that’s annoying to blog with, as is my phone keyboard. It’s just so satisfying to hear the clackity-clack of the keys while I feverishly type my thoughts on here.

Thank God for travel insurance that my university provided me during my elective for free, because they let me get a brand new laptop!

Introducing, the HP pavillion x360!!

It does super neat things like flipping over backwards 

and letting me draw things with an HP stylus that came free with it!

 

Definitely an upgrade.

(That’s a snake in case my doodling wasn’t clear)

It was actually quite brave of me to get an HP again because this time, once again, I spent a whole week on the phone to HP support services trying to get a QUOTE for the damages to my laptop. I wasn’t even asking them to fix it. All I needed was a quote saying these were the damages and these parts were unavailable.

I made 13 phone calls over 4 days and still did Not manage to get a quote. And ended up going elsewhere for a proper quote.

It was just horrendous. The first lady that picked up said “um do you know your computer is a 2013 model??” And judging me to the max for not upgrading. Um excuse me but shouldn’t I get some credit for taking such good care of it over the last few years?? 

Apparently not. Then there was a big fiasco about people telling me the parts were no longer available and then people telling me they need to check if they were available. They were telling me they would call me back when they never did, and there was one point where I had suspected that they had blocked my phone number because my calls were not going through unless I used a different phone.

Thank God HP has such good tech because their customer service is beyond multiple levels of useless.

I adore my new laptop though! Fit like a daydream, as Taylor Swift would say! 

Shut Out

Consider the following scenarios:

1. Friend A was in a relationship that ended badly, with the other person continually harassing them. Friend A blocked them on all social network and deleted their number so they may get on with their life. 

2. Friend B blocks people on Facebook and other mediums who “annoy” them 

3. Friend C had a fight with a friend they had known for years. This resulted in the friend blocking them on everything. Friend C was so upset that they deactivated their Facebook, and went off the radar for a few months. 

4. Friend D was in a relationship where their partner had cheated on them. When they confronted their partner, their number was blocked. And they were unable to talk to them. 

5. Friend E was receiving messages from someone they didn’t know continually. So they proceeded to block them.

6. There was a meme on Facebook that said in order to get revenge on someone or “hit them where it hurts”, you simply have to unfollow them on Instagram and block them on Facebook. 

You know, in this day and age, communication is so easy. There are millions of ways you can talk to someone. And there are ways to know when someone has seen your attempts to contact them. Which is all a good thing really. Because I cannot imagine how agonising it must have been in the days when everyone would communicate through letters. And in the days/weeks that followed sending that letter, wondering whether the other person had received it, had read it, when they would reply, or if they were even alive. There was just no way of knowing. 

So it should be a blessing that there are now so many options to reach out to someone else. Your friends/family, etc. 

But with anything, there’s a dark side. Off late, I’ve been hearing from people about this whole “blocking” business. As in the act of clicking on someone, going to options, scrolling down and hitting “block this person” on whatever app you use to communicate with them on. Then sitting back and feeling triumph. 

And I say that last bit because that’s the kind of blocking I hear about. When websites such as Facebook were first developed, the blocking feature was most relevant to people like friend E. It’s basically a way you can avoid the less than great people in the world you don’t even know. Which is fair enough.  And then after that, it was next most relevant to Friend A. Who was being harassed by someone they knew, and wanted it to stop. Also reasonable. 

The problems, are with Friends B, C, D, and the meme I mentioned. Blocking someone out of malice. For revenge. Intentionally to hurt that person. 

Yeah. That’s not cool.

Like yes it means you don’t want to talk to that person in that instance or for the foreseeable future, but essentially what you’re saying is that they meant so little to you that you basically can delete them from your life at the simple click of a button. 

And that’s what hurts most people. Of course 20 years ago that wouldn’t have made sense to anyone. And it wouldn’t have been possible anyway. To stop someone communicating with you, you’d usually stop replying to letters, stop answering the phone multiple times when they call, or in extreme cases, move.

But this is slightly different. Blocking is like going out of your way to make it clear to someone that they are no longer privileged to attempt to contact you. To be in your life. In that one click, it’s all literally over.

Which is so weird. We live in a time where this is possible. Friend C had a terrible time. To the point where another friend and I had to go visit her to make sure she was okay. She began to spiral quite a bit and all because her “friend” had blocked her and she was beyond devastated. 

I can understand that. The feeling that you spent time/effort/feelings on someone who only cared about you as much as the effort it took to flex the MCP joints of their finger and apply pressure to click the “block” button. And then carry on with their life. 

What would motivate someone to do that? Well. As in Friend  C’s experience, someone can just be angry and act out by blocking. The equivalent of hanging up or slamming a door in their mind. However, if they perpetuate that, it becomes worse. As adults I think that if you’ve known someone for long enough, you should be able to face them and work through whatever problems you have. That’s not an unreasonable expectation is it? 

Unless you’re one of the people that Friend D encountered. Who had clearly done something wrong and chose to deal with it in that pathetic way. By running away from the confrontation. As though that would solve everything. Honestly I can’t imagine what this person was thinking. But the word despicable comes to mind.

And then there’s friend B. Who blocks people who annoy them. Basically friend B told me that if someone posted unnecessary things or messaged them for no reason, they would be blocked. I didn’t quite understand this. They were usually people who friend B didn’t know very well. And yes sometimes people can be extremely annoying on social media. But that’s why websites like Facebook came up with an “unfollow” button. So you don’t see their posts and they don’t know it. That to me, is less damaging then telling someone that you went out of your way to make sure they know they’re so annoying that they are no longer allowed to be a part of your social platform. And they will know. I don’t care what Facebook tells you. If someone’s posts and comments mysteriously disappear, they’ve blocked you. 

And the meme suggests that this is actually something you can use to intentionally hurt someone????

Who came up with that?? And why on Earth would people endorse that idea? As though it’s acceptable?? Basically you’re admitting that you are a petty enough person who would resort to revenge and that you’re incredibly immature that you would choose these means to hurt someone, and that you’re cruel enough that you’re okay with doing that. 

I’m sorry but I think that’s unacceptable in every sense.

But the more I think about it, it occurs to me that the only reason someone made a meme like that and the reason people continue to do such things is that we all give a lot of importance to this blocking idea. Like friend C who was very hurt. But if you think about it, if someone told you 20 years ago that there was this website where you could talk to someone, but they could “block” you, you’d probably not care very much. And say something to the effect of I’ll call them or go over to their house . And 20 years from now when Facebook becomes obsolete, no one’s ever going to care or remember that person who blocked them. 

So really, it’s all a matter of perspective. If you know someone beyond Facebook and you know about them as a person, all of that should matter more than being blocked. 

And for those who block people just to hurt them, please remember that karma is a witch. And it’ll come back threefold. You never know who’ll become a serial killer, you never know who’ll be the doctor operating on you someday, and you never know who’ll approve that loan you desperately need. 

As Ellen Degeneres would say:

Be kind to one another

Classic Technology 

Today I went to get my laptop back (fina-friggin-ly)

They were an awful repair service to be honest. They took an entire week and when I finally got annoyed enough to ring them up, an apathetic guy said that I’d get a status update soon with the problem and whether parts are required etc. 2 hours later, I got an update saying my laptop was ready to pick up with a new battery.

Eugh. So basically if I hadn’t called, they would have kept my laptop forever.

But it’s okay overall. $175 later I have a functional computer with a charging battery.

Anyway, while I was there, I saw this!

The phone in the middle caught my eye! The revamped Nokia 3310! This is old news but for those who don’t know, Nokia, in their last desperate attempt to keep their once-successful company afloat, have resorted to resurrecting their best-selling phone of the 90s!

The good ol’ Nokia brick phone with the classic Snake game! Who didn’t own one of these at the time? It was basically a rite of passage to own one of these phones. It was an amazing piece of tech. It was virtually indestructible and had a  battery life of a solid week, and was hours of fun, besides! And I’m not just talking about the games. Remember how long it took to send a message on those phones? How you had to press the same button 4 times to enter the letter Z? Ahh. Good times… It was the perfect phone of that era. I still have mine I’m sure. And I am certain I could charge it even today and it would still be functional. Man. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.

But lookie here! Nokia is in fact trying to make the iconic phone again! So. This one is uber cheap, has a colour screen, and comes with Snake. Actually I’m pretty sure the only gimmick in revamping this phone is that one game.

I thought this was hilarious. I love Nokia, I loved my brick phone, and I felt extremely nostalgic and happy when I saw this phone. But to be honest, that was it. I didn’t want to buy it. It made me wonder, who would? Who is the target audience for this phone? Die-hard Nokia fans? That doesn’t sound right. Because if you were a die-hard fan, you’ve probably preserved your original Nokia brick phone in mint condition right? Who is going to shell out 200 dollars just for that feeling of nostalgia on a phone that is beyond outdated and completely irrelevant?

I’m genuinely curious to know if anyone has bought this phone. And the reasons as to why.

Because the bottom line is, just looking at that phone, it’s different to the original, it’s in colour and it’s 200 dollars. It’s not my old brick.

On the other hand, since this has been revamped, can I sell my old Nokia brick as a vintage model? Hmmmm… New possibilities.

When Technology Fails

In the wake of my old phone dying, my laptop’s battery also decided to commit suicide. 

My HP laptop that I’ve had for 3 years now is no longer charging. The only way it will turn on is if it is connected to the charger. Which defeats the purpose of a laptop as it is no longer mobile. 

I wonder if I’m cursed whereby all my tech devices just decide to jump ship after 3-4 years. Eugh. 

After getting my new phone, I was a bit reluctant to give my laptop in for repair because I was sure it would cost some unreasonable amount. But unfortunately I use my laptop even more than I use my phone. Which means I need it to be at its best and to be mobile. 

So I thought the best people to approach would be HP support. You know for a support line, they were extremely unsupportive. 

Me: My laptop battery doesn’t charge anymore. It won’t reach 100% even after 4 hours of charging and it turns off as soon as I unplug the charger. And this just keeps happening.

HP Support: I see…. Could you tell me exactly what happened when the problem started?

Me: ……..My laptop battery doesn’t charge anymore. It won’t reach 100% even after 4 hours of charging and it turns off as soon as I unplug the charger. And this just keeps happening.

HP Support: Ahh. This sounds like a battery issue. But we will have to do a full diagnostic test on the laptop and the fee for this is $70. You will have to send your laptop to us and it will take anywhere from 5-7 working days. And then a final invoice stating what the problem was and how much it costs to fix it will be sent to you.
…….Oh God seriously?

First off.. Yes I am aware it is a battery issue. Shocking since the ONLY thing wrong with it is the fact that the battery Won’t Charge. 

And secondly, $70+ AND 5-7 working days? I need my laptop everyday! Okay maybe not so much since I’m on holiday but still. Surfing and blogging are necessities. 

But in the end I had to give it in somewhere. Took it to a repair shop which is closer to where I live and the guy said the exact same thing. That although it sounds EXACTLY like a battery issue, they will need to run a complete diagnostic test on my laptop. And the scary part was that these guys said they couldn’t guarantee the safety of my data. This is where I got really annoyed. 

It’s a battery issue!! Don’t touch my data. That has nothing to do with anything. Stay away from my files. 

Eugh. Well. Thanks to the new age of technology and Microsoft’s OneDrive, I don’t have anything on my laptop that I would lament losing. But still. There’s just no need to mess with my files.

So now I am laptop-less. Waiting 3-5 business days to get it back hopefully in one piece. 

Eugh. Fingers crossed they return it like tomorrow. I have things to do.

New Phone

And so it was with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my lovely Sony Xperia Z

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It was like losing a relative to renal failure. My beloved Sony had been my companion and confidant for 4 years now. Through highs and lows, it was there for me. Bringing me closer to others, finding things I needed, storing information I kept feeding it and never repeating it to anyone. Taking photos that were just good enough in quality that hid the blemishes on my own face and the faces of my friends. And just being there for me.

In its day, this phone was top notch. Sporting a world class screen and camera, with the reliable water-resistant technology that sets Sony apart from all the smartphone giants out there. Leading them, actually.

But sadly, like all things in life, it became outdated. No longer upgrading to the delightful dessert versions of Android 6,7 and 8. No longer holding its power for a full 24 hours, no longer opening apps in the blink of an eye for efficient browsing. It just kept freezing up. Was too slow to understand what I needed anymore.

And so I decided it was time. Time to move on. Time to retire my favourite piece of technology. I miss it deeply.

I had my heart set on getting the newest Sony phone. The Xperia XZ is the newest and best version of the Sony class. I just adore the hardware and features that come with a Sony phone. But others disagreed with me. They found the new model to be exactly the same design as all the Xperia phones. This was bigger, and clunkier, apparently. But it had everything I needed. I’m not a huge techy. I have very little requirements for my phone. I need it to communicate with others, (phone, messages, whatsapp, viber, email, etc.) and it needs to be indestructible (waterproof, shatterproof). Sony satisfied both of these. I have dropped my Sony lots of times (not proud, but kinda proud of my phone) and it has never shattered. Unlike the Samsung/ Apple phones out there.  I also don’t believe in spending huge amounts of money on phones. Sony is generally an average priced phone.

But unfortunately, the XZ is not hugely popular in NZ. They’re going out of style altogether actually. The whole design-being-the-same-in-every-model thing. So what I ended up getting was this.

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The Samsung Galaxy S8! The revolutionary phone that has just hit the market and is beating sales of even the newest Apple iPhone. The screen is bigger and edgier than ever before. The camera is the best it has ever been, it is now waterproof, it has a processor and RAM equivalent to some high-end laptops, AND! it comes with your own personal smart assistant Bixby who learns how you use your phone and follows voice commands to bring you almost anything you need on your phone!

It’s new, it’s big, and it’s now mine.

Okay I spent a lot on this phone. And to be completely honest, I will probably not be using every new fantastic feature Samsung has racked up in the battle against Apple. But it is pretty cool. Shiny, waterproof, fast, latest Android….. and Bixby is really cool. xD

And I better keep to this phone for the next 4-6 years atleast. That’s how much I spent on it.

It just gets harder and harder these days though. The intentionally hold some phones back from getting the new Android versions just so you’ll upgrade. That makes life really difficult for me. I tend to keep my phones for a long time. If my Sony hadn’t become outdated, I’d still keep it.

Plus the newer models are following the trend of removing the headphone jack. That. Is a crime in every way to me. I just cannot. I need my music. I need it while my phone charges. No exceptions.

Hopefully this trend stops soon.

In the meantime! I am typing this on my new S8 and it’s pretty good! The photos were also taken on this phone. Ooooh so much detail.

I do miss my Sony very much. But hopefully my new companion will be just as great.