A Failure of Technology

So I had some trouble with my phone last week. The screen became unresponsive to touch. I tried rebooting, per the suggestion given by some (apparently) random person on my phone company’s help site, but to reboot, I need to tap buttons appearing on the screen, so if the screen doesn’t register those taps…

Whenever stuff like this happens, I feel helpless. I’m not terribly tech-savvy, and I’m bad at troubleshooting problems. I’m also kinda cheap. — it comes from a combination of growing up poor, and not having a ton of disposable income right now. The thing is, we’re doing fine; I just hate spending money when I feel like I’m being ripped off, which is exactly how I feel right now. My Motorola G4 Play only lasted for just over a year and a half: decent return on a cell phone, I suppose, but “in the old days, phones lasted FOREVER!” Yeah, and they were bolted to the wall, too. Get off my lawn.

So I bought a new phone. It’s an upgrade (I’m told) over the one that just crapped out. Getting all my apps, contacts, and photos downloaded from my old phone to my new one turned out to be a snap, thanks to The Cloud. The phone took five days to get here. This troubles me, because it means I lost five days of progress playing Pokemon Go. Which means I lost out on one special reward one collects after completing specific missions for seven days in a row. Rewards that, as it turns out, are underwhelming. It was a realization: I’ve been fairly obsessed with Pokemon Go since I started playing in July of 2017. I’ve nearly maxed out the upward progress I can make — at level 39 of 40 — and a forced vacation from the game made me realize that, while I really enjoyed being out and walking around, seeing what virtual surprises were around the corner or down the block, what I’m not missing is the frustration of poor software, disappointing rewards, and diminishing returns from the game. I did install Pokemon Go on my new phone already, but, true to form, it always seems to be something with this game: right now, it can’t find my GPS coordinates, which makes it impossible for me to play.

Normally, the screen would also show ghostly outlines of buildings and streets. I discovered the challenge and delight of finding my way around unfamiliar parts of the city using only those faint outlines intriguing, but as you can see, that isn’t an option at the moment. Also, the white rectangle (lower right) would be showing me three Pokemon that are nearby.

Again with the tech issues and troubleshooting. Sigh.

On the plus side, having time off from the game made me realize that, while I had fun with it for a long time, the frustrations outweigh the enjoyment these days. In other words, I’m done. Oh sure, I may pick it up from time to time and play for a day or two, but that sense of urgency, that desire that had me checking on my Pokemon first thing in the morning when I got up? That’s gone.

Now maybe I’ll use my phone as God and Motorola intended: to keep track of Facebook and watch porn.

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