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Re: Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Phone Or The Internet Discouraging?

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A bit late to the game with this thread but I will provide my comments. :- )

 

I suppose I have a streak of bitterness regarding current telephone technology. I often make comments to my spouse that I am just too stupid to use these modern phones. Internally, I do not believe this, instead I blame faulty technology and cheaply made hardware. My bitterness comes from several aspects.

 

Let's discuss this as (1) "home" phones, including cordless, and (2) cell phones, including smart phones.

 

(1) I recall the golden age of home phones. That nice green AT&T phone on the wall in my parents' house, circa 1966. Old reliable. Had a very long cord so I could go off to a private corner for my calls. Best of all it was "full duplex"...this is a very important point.

 

Full duplex means that both parties can speak and hear at the same time. It provides the same natural conversational environment that you would have if you were speaking in-person. For years, speakerphones did not provide full duplex features, instead, one person talks and the other will not be heard by the speaker. This means that your "uh huhs", "hmmms", "oh!" are not going to be heard.

 

Cordless phones typically suffer from the same problem. I have owned cordless phones that claimed to be "duplex" but I have never found that to be the case; well, maybe that costly AT&T cordless phone from around 1988 but it did not last. Ever since then just problems with duplex. We recently got a new set of cordless phones with "Full Duplex" prominently indicated (versus just "Duplex"). This set *might* be a good set with actual full duplex.

 

In my experience phones without full duplex lead to an unnatural conversational experience with someone, such as with some in my own family who do not "share" the conversation but are endlessly speaking themselves. I have given up trying to have "conversations" with one sibling, it always turns out to be me listening to his monologue. Boring; gimme my email instead.

 

Thus my complaints about the technology of cordless "home" phones include (1) oftentimes the inability to have a natural freeflowing conversation. In the very worst cases I refer to this as the call like being on "the radiotelephone to Mars", one must pause to wait for the communication to be received at the other end, then answered, before being able to make further comments. This can take some seconds and is unnatural. (2) Often poor sound quality due to cheap hardware (I try not to get such cheap hardware but my spouse has taken on the duty of the phone systems herself and she is not always as demanding as I am).

 

Related to "home" phones is the use of VOIP services and hardware. This may be totally unfamiliar to many people and could require an entire study of its own. Yes, you can get your phone service from your local cable company, etc. It plugs into the wall like in the olden days. But there are VOIP ("voice over internet protocol") services and hardware available. Your phone call doesn't go over the phone lines but instead goes through the internet lines (which are often the same as the phone lines but the "protocol" is different). You may have heard of some of these services such as Skype phone calls, Magic Jack, etc, and even Google Voice.

 

Google Voice ("GV") is really a great product. But since I pay no money for it is it really a "product"? GV is a voip system. You have to have some hardware to use it as your "land line". One such hardware device is the OBI (you will notice that some of these names are odd and amusing, but they are real). You can also get an OOMA voip hardware device which is independent of GV, you have an OOMA phone number but I recall there may be a subscription charge while there is not for GV. We have both systems at my house...GV with Obi and another line with OOMA. That means two independent sets of cordless phones (although we could use a set with "two lines" function).

 

So, Google Voice is a great product. It is free. I can call the US and Canada at no cost. It provides voice mail messages. Written transcripts of messages are sent to me by email. I can receive SMS text messages with GV. With the right app I can use GV on my smart phone...using either a wifi or data connection. This is all incredibly convenient!

 

(Even better, my wife has provided some of her family members in Canada and in her "home" country in SE Asian with GV numbers and Obi hardware so they can call other family members in North America as simply and cheaply as calling next door.)

 

But GV has a dark side. Or perhaps it is Obi. On some occasions, usually when it is me using the phone, the call does not connect and there is a cryptic error message reported. I have found reports of this error using Google and it seems to be related more to Obi than to GV. And it can happen only with certain numbers, other numbers may be okay. And later on the problem number might be okay again. Apparently this has to do with the mysterious inner workings of the telephone "switching" system...I once knew someone who worked on programming for the AT&T switching systems back in the 1980's, high powered stuff. In any event, when these errors happen it makes me want to "fling" my phone right across the room!

 

Usually the GV/Obi errors occur when it is me and so my wife doesn't believe me. But she also has been hit with this recently and knows the frustration first hand (hehe).

 

Oh, one last thing about "home" phones, and this applies to cell phones as well. I understand the concept of "area codes" (as well as "zip codes", haha). And I recall that back in ancient times we dialed "1" before dialing the area code. Now there is no rhyme nor reason on the use of the "1" or the area code. I googled this the other day and found some relevant US Federal government agency's instructions on the use of "1" and area codes. Apparently sometimes you need the area code (even when calling from within the area code), other times you don't, and sometimes you need the "1" and sometimes you don't. The rules were incomprehensible to me and I don't understand when to use what. I usually just try "1" and if that doesn't work then I omit it. In conjunction with the strange sporadic GV errors I often end up trying to dial 5 or 6 permutations then give up in disgust. "User error" I tell myself...assuming that my own stupidity is the problem.

 

(2) Cell phones, including smart phones. Well, I don't use these too often. SMS is a great invention, you can text someone and they don't have to give you an immediate answer. Smart phones with "chats" and email are even better.

 

I suppose I don't have too many issues with cell phones other than what applies to the "home" phones. Maybe I will post more later on this technology. Right now I feel a migraine coming on from thinking about my telephone experiences and how I am so antiquated and over the hill that I can't even operate a simple telephone device anymore.

 
In the end, I far prefer the written word to communicate rather than the phone. Give me email. Etc.

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Re: Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Phone Or The Internet Discouraging?

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I think the technology and practical learning through concrete study materials ( e.g.books) go hand in hand.Sometimes we learn operations of technology like cell phones etc through books and sometimes we  use internet to reach or look out for digital version of books.Everything could have a setback likewise it's no wonder technology could have too.So Rather than calling it discouraging;I could say it's misused.It has simplified our lives and it's become such important part of our lives that we have become almost dependent on it even though it has some drawbacks.So I think it depends on each individual of how we interact with it.

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Re: Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Phone Or The Internet Discouraging?

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I don't really have any problems. I have been using computers, cell phones, etc. for many years. College courses, required training when I was working, and reading magazines and books about computers helps me to keep up with changes.

 

A few months back I bought a new cell phone, the Samsung Galaxy S7. I immediately went to Barnes and Noble to buy a book on it, My Samsung Galaxy S7. This is what I did with each Samsung phone that I have owned.

 

It pays to keep up with all the changes.

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Re: Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Or The Internet Discouraging?

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I absolutely agree 😀

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Re: Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Or The Internet Discouraging?

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No, I'm not discouraged by technology or the Internet. Not in terms of using them or getting what I want out of them. I am disgusted by the widespread use of personal data in order to 'target ads' and 'improve user experience' (which I think should read "track you until we know exactly how you think and therefore can use story to manipulate your buying and voting choices". You know, if we lived in a truthful world. Which we do not. It is the age of meme manipulation. Waa. Smiley Happy

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Do You Find Technology, Using A Cell Phone Or The Internet Discouraging?

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At first I was discouraged with how to operate my cell phone when it came to something as simple as updating apps, deleting apps, the email/Gmail thing, surfing the web for answers, cut and paste, sending links and what to do when someone sent me a link, the whole nine yards. BUT I SELF TAUGHT myself through trial and error over a period of time and I'm still learning as technology upgrades its self.

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