August 23, 2021

New phone, face recognition, and unwanted recognition

I hate getting a new phone.  Hate.  It.

My phone was acting up last summer.  It was probably 3 years old.  Come to think of it, it behaved a lot like me:  needed a charge mid-day, memory was full, covered in cracks, dull case, etc. 

So I guess I'm 3 years old in phone years.

As we all know, I hate Walmart - but that's where we get our cheap phone service so I FINALLY could take no more of the "Oops my battery died" scenarios and I dragged myself to the dreaded electronics counter at Walmart. 
 This is what our cheap ass phone
boxes look like when we
 pick one out at Walmart. 

Curly started babysitting last summer as a mother's helper.  I chose to race into Walmart on the way to her first day at Barb's house.  Barb has 6 kids (4 boys 2 girls - for real), and after covid she needed a break. Curly was going to take 5 of her kids to the park.  

I picked out a phone in record time.  Begged the young woman to help me set it up.  Am I exploiting ageism if I seek sympathy and feign (not really feigning though) a clueless nature while blaming my advanced age?  Well, it works for me. 

The clerk in the stylish blue bib, sort of set it up. "Your new phone will randomly start working sometime in the next hour, or so." 

Clean up a spill of ambiguity in isle 10.  

Like WHAT?  I need it to work now. I needed MapQuest.

My reliance on MapQuest is shameful. I used to figure out where I was going in advance, like a grown up. Now: I just use maps on my phone.  Am I alone?  

Anyway she assured me all would be dandy, which I recognize as code for "Move along clueless lady. This is Walmart. Customer Service isn't really our thing."  

I can't remember the details because a year has passed - remember, my memory is full. We got to the car and the new phone started to work, but I couldn't connect to the internet. How was I going to drive to this woman's house?  

I freaked out. Poor Curly. I accidentally have two gmail accounts. I never know which one is tied to my phone. It's silly. Probably something that can easily be fixed - by DELETING THE EXTRA ACCOUNT . . . but some things are tied to one account and some the other. Have you been here long enough to remember my freak out before we left for Scotland? My airbnb account was tied to a gmail account that I didn't even know I had. I thought my reservation was lost. Have I mentioned I have no business operating anything technological and while some of you wouldn't consider email all that complicated . . . hi, have we met?

I started driving in the general direction of where I thought the babysitting job was, and at last the phone agreed to open MapQuest. We arrived just in time.  
If I had to guess, I'd say I took this when
 I cleaned out Lad and Ed's room. Sent
it to them:  "Are you done with these phone cases?"
 This because I had no
photo to coordinate with this post.

Later, Mini squealed with delight:  "Your new phone has face recognition." She set it up so my phone can unlock itself when it sees my lovely face.

Guess what?  My face doesn't always look lovely. When I wake up well-rested and squishy, the phone refuses to trust this 'stranger.' Suspecting high treason, it makes me unlock it manually.  

I got a text message a few days later- no name attached. Just the number. I had to text back:  "Hi, who is this." Not all of my contacts transferred. Ugh.

What's your biggest issue with getting a new phone, or do you get excited about it (I assume all the people who know how to work a new phone and transfer stuff will be the excited types)? 


Anonymous said...

I also HATE getting a new phone but I think it's almost time. I'm pretty sure cell phone plans are much different here in Canada (well for starters we have the most expensive cell phone plans in the world!). I cannot imagine 'dashing' in the get a new seems to take hours?? They always transfer all the data for me though so that's a good thing. That is hilarious about the face recognition not working in the early morning...

Pat Birnie said...

Oops. Guess I forgot to put my name in. Anonymous is ‘me’.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I hate getting a new phone too but the last time I did the set-up was so unbelievably smooth I wondered why I hadn't done it earlier. Also, the map function is the best feature that was ever created.

Kara said...

I hate new phones too. One of my daughters looks so much like me that she can use face recognition to open my phone. Good and bad! I'm also dependent on GPS. Like really dependent on GPS.

Ally Bean said...

I dislike getting a new phone. You don't know how it'll betray you, but it will. I don't have face recognition and that's fine by me. No little machine needs to look at me to know it should turn itself on. I'll punch in some numbers to make it work. I'm in charge here, right?

Ernie said...

Pat - Our phone service is so cheap, but the phones get no service when I travel with Curly for Irish dancing - like to CANADA or Ireland. So annoying to deal with. I think I've done What's App but have to be in WIFI for it to work. I'd feel so much better if I knew they were transferring everything, but hours? Who has time for that? My year old phone is struggling with storage issues and I've added a SIM card to give it a boost but that is now worthless too. Things like GOOGLE PHOTOS no longer automatically upload photos because the thing is just acting up due to the storage shortage. Hmph.

I should state that it isn't JUST morning that my phone doesn't recognize me - it just depends on whether I'm looking frustrated or old and tired or chippy and awake, one would assume. No idea really, but not a reliable method of unlocking.

Ernie said...

Nicole - How on earth did we every get by without the map function? My mom refuses to embrace technology. It's nuts, but it's also funny when she tries to tell me where something is located. I'm like: MOM, MY PHONE WILL TELL ME THE BEST WAY TO GO.

Ernie said...

Kara - That is hilarious about your daughter using face recognition on your phone. I can see how that wouldn't always end well. All praise GPS!

Ernie said...

Ally - So true, one never does know when one's phone might betray. That made me chuckle. I like to think I'm in charge of my phone, but it proves me wrong on the regular. It shut down the other night and I couldn't figure out how to get it back on. I was panicked. I so wish I wasn't so reliant on this little device.

Gigi said...

This line was pure gold! "So I guess I'm 3 years old in phone years."

I hate getting a new phone too - mainly because I'm indecisive and because Verizon changed and we no longer get a "free" phone upgrade with our plan anymore.

I love the maps feature too...except it never fails that just when I need it the phone is "searching for GPS." GAH! Which probably means I need a new phone. *sigh*

Ernie said...

Gigi - Hee hee. So glad you liked my dog years in phone years translation to my age line. I don't have to worry about being indecisive about getting a phone because there are so few phones to choose from. BUT I could be doing that wrong - which is totally possible . . . my three oldest sons just bought themselves iPhone which I didn't think was an option with our service. I'm an android person myself, so not wanting to switch. I've also threatened to pull my kids off of our plan if they share their emotions with their iPhones because it comes back to me as a full blown text which couldn't be more irritating. AND THEY KONW THIS. Grrr.

Maybe the worst thing I can hear while driving is: RECALCULATING . . . Then I know I've made a mistake. Makes me want to scream.

Suz said...

The last time I got a new phone (almost 3 years) my contacts didn’t all transfer and I lost some beloved I’m with you on keeping on till I can keep on!
Goodness. I loathe Walmart. I loathe getting a new phone. Here you’ve doubled up on things I loathe. I feel for you. Also, I didn’t know people used Mapquest any longer. Doesn’t your phone come with a map program? Maybe that’s just an Apple thing, but I rely on it heavily.

You had some gem one liners in your post and I thank you for the giggles——again at your expense. Xo

Bibliomama said...

I hate change of any description, especially involving technology, but like Nicole, the last time I got a new phone I just stuck my sim card in and it was like I had my old phone but working. I also massively over-rely on the maps app, like if I'm ever out and my phone dies I will probably never be seen or heard from again. I'm fairly comfortable with this, I've had a good run. GPS changed my whole entire life and I'm both envious that Eve gets to leave home with a hand-held device that will keep her from getting lost and relieved because I would like to see her again some time.

Ernie said...

Suz - OMG - holy EXHIBIT A, Batman . . . I'm referring to Google Maps as MapQuest in this post. See.What.I.Mean. I do NOT have a handle on technology and can barely operate a cellular device, let alone replace one. How have I made it this far? Well, teenagers is the answer. That's how. And this is why I tolerate them laughing at me. I rely on their help way too much. I'd really like my 1 year old phone to be able to back up my google photos each night AS IT SHOULD. My kids have checked it out and they are baffled, because it doesn't. I live in fear of forgetting to upload them and then losing the phone.

I seriously laughed out loud at my MapQuest slip up. I feel far less dumb when I can laugh at myself though, so there's that.

Ernie said...

Ali - You are killing me with your "I WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE SEEN OR HEARD FROM AGAIN." Actually the whole comment is hilarious.

I'm envious of these college kids today. Imagine being able to screen calls, or receive calls/ messages while NOT IN YOUR ROOM, not to mention finding the party that you swore was just a few blocks over yonder. I generally have a very good sense of direction, but I do occasionally think: WHERE WOULD I BE WITHOUT GPS? I shudder to think.

Kari said...

I also hate getting a new phone. Luckily we have iphones and they are usually good about transferring over data. But I am the same with technology. How do we have blogs in 2021??? :)

Beth Cotell said...

I can't imagine how I would get anywhere without my phone. I am extremely directionally challenged and am very thankful for the map app on my phone!!

Ernie said...

Kari - Envious of your iPhones switching capabilities, but not enough to switch from Android. I couldn't update the little drawing on my blog if my life depended on it. Yet, I did set it up once.

Ernie said...

Beth - Even when I hop in the car to drive somewhere SO close but I forget my phone, I feel naked and lost. What have phones turned us into? I travelled with my brother abroad during college and he's lucky I didn't strangle him. Directionally challenged to say the least. He insisted that we eat at the same McDonalds while we were in Rome, because he knew how big the portions were and what he was getting. Who does that? Anyway, he couldn't find his way to that same McDonalds and I was constantly like IT'S RIGHT OVER THERE. HELLO? HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT? WE'VE EATEN 3 MEALS THERE OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS.