Apps For Life

how people have changed the way they communicate

The Real World
© Going Postal 2024

How to be left behind by absolutely everything

This is a short article about something I’ve only just encountered and become alarmed and a tad frustrated about.

After the interweb was invented the way things used to be arranged was an email with a time and a place and a map. Job done, grand. And you’d get emails bouncing around between people who were going, meet here, eat there, get lifts.

Email was and still is great. A communication without the crackly line but with information and hellos, read it when you want. The mobile phone was added in and then we got something to speak into to arrange meeting up with someone when you were half way there.

Then these smartyphones were invented. But still none of it affected the arranging thing that is email and it all ran happily alongside. Then in crashed the fucking app. Now bear in mind I’ve worked in server rooms, programming, coding, hard and software so I’m no stranger to technological advances but I can’t buy into these fucking apps.

So I’m at a conference with my old mobile that does texts and phones people. Everyone else has turned up with a swipemobile. And apps. So to get to go to any of the things it’s no longer a sheet of paper that says x place x time. “You need whatsapp,” they said.

Now the other way I’m left behind with everything technological is I still use a pc for interweb, emails and doing computery things. So I need every app that someone produces to have a desktop version for me to be able to use it. Telegram has and it works fine but a lot don’t. A pc can’t swipe anything, nor can it phone anyone.

I did a half way house thing to get all this crap working a year ago and bought a tablet. It looks a bit like a laptop but doesn’t fold and it can work like a swipeyphone does. But it doesn’t really phone people. I’m sure it could. I remember VOIP from work for people we had in the far east jungle, so this must be the new generation of that.

But how a phone call is connected to an app I don’t know and if I do communicate with someone on the tablet there’s a 100% chance I’ll get missed call icons that multiply and stay there forever. When I say to people I haven’t got a smartphone they don’t seem to have a way of reversing their brain paths back to what we used to do so the conversation ends.

The other thing the modern person doesn’t get is once I’ve finished what I’m doing I walk away from the pc and no longer have access to the interweb. I’m outside now with the trees and stuff, geddit? But if you want to get hold of me I’ve got a phone with me so you could send a text, like we used to do? But they say “are you on whatsapp?”

So basically things don’t really function for me any more in their world but I have no desire to do all this fifth generation mobile app stuff. I got whatsapp on the tablet, two people have tried to get hold of me and there was nothing there, no button that said ‘inbox’ or a little alert thing. So I wrote their mobile numbers down on a bit of paper instead. In a bar no less, while we smoked fags and drank beer.

To get to the next thing we need Whova. “Hoover”? Yeh I’m sure it’s pronounced Hoover, for Hoovering people. What was wrong with Telegram I said. “Oh Whova can do so much more”. Like fucking what? Bake a crinoline lady cake?

So yeh, call me outdated but I can still do all the things I want to do that other people don’t any more. And when this new world collapses under its own pretence many people won’t be able to do anything but the birdies will still sing and the middle American landscape pictured above will still be there. Lovely innit.

© Polar Opposite 2024