Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 169 of 365: My Electronics, My Way

A few weeks ago, my phone ate pavement. This wouldn't have been so bad, had I had the protective case on it. But, since I take my phone out of the case regularly in order to slip it into my armband and go running, I tend to get a little lackadaisical when it comes to putting it back on.

This wouldn't have been such a bad oversight, had I not watched my phone go skipping across the parking lot like a stone over a pond just the month prior, after stepping out of my car, not realizing that my phone was on my lap. And yes, it was sans case then, too. And I had sworn to myself after that, that I would always remember to put the case on.

This resulted in the spiderweb-cracked screen that everyone has seen at least someone with. Which would've been okay, had my phone not ate pavement a third time. Last Thursday proved that, even with the protective case, the third time is always a charm. The screen was dead. Thankfully, I have insurance on my phone, which grants me one replacement a year (with a $100 deductible of course >=( ).

That replacement finally came in the mail last night. At the request of my husband, I gave him the honors of setting up my phone. There was some important software that he wanted on my phone -- especially before the phone tried to update its own software. He fiddled around with my phone until he got done was he needed to get done. He handed the phone to me, letting me know that my phone was mine. And not just "here is your phone back" mine, but actually mine -- meaning Samsung or Verizon didn't have final say on my phone anymore.

I've never been a fan of technology as a trump card over human logic. Maybe I've watched the Terminator series too many times, but I fear the day when Skynet becomes aware. It's why I like Androids over iPhones. I like having that extra bit of control over my phone (with widgets and SIM cards and independent battery packs, oh my). But, even then, the amount of control you have over your phone is crazy limited. There are apps you can never uninstall (at least with the phone in its original state/software), there are things that the provider or the manufacturer will have control of (and you never will).

And said provider/manufacturer will go out of their way to make sure you don't have that control. They'll have updates for phones that are purely there so whatever routing people have done is null and void. They have whole teams dedicated to making the phones as "unhackable" as possible.

To me, it just doesn't make sense. I don't buy a bag of flour, take it home, and realize that I can only bake bread and make pancakes with it. There's no limitations on how I can alter a certain shirt. If I buy an electronic, it's my electronic. If I don't want that shitty Blockbuster app (aww, remember Blockbuster?), then I should be able to get rid of it. And maybe I should just be wearing tinfoil hats and calling it a day, but there's something unnerving about the amount of control they can have over something we use every single day.

But then again, I am part of the problem. I'm just happy that I have a phone back. My biggest concern wasn't whether or not my phone could get routed, but whether or not I could sync my progress on a re-install of my Zombies, Run app (good news: it can. Advice for those who play Zombies, Run: get a ZombieLink account and sync your progress often. I went from having to start all over to only being one run behind in the game -- and if I had synced after that run, I would be completely up to date). So, yay, apathy. At least I have a husband who is on the ball about things like this.

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