Reality Bytes

img_1906All I wanted to do was take a picture of a sunset.  I was at the beach with my family, watching the sun sink down into the ocean in a dazzling display of orange and yellow when I reached for my cell phone to snap a quick picture.  I clicked on the camera icon, focused the shot and pressed the button to take the picture.  But all I got was an obnoxious message saying that the phone couldn’t take the picture because I had used up all my storage available for photos.  Which meant that instead of enjoying nature’s glorious display, I became focused on trying to figure out what the heck was going on with my cell phone.

Taking the message at face value (a rookie mistake, I admit), I spent the next half hour or so deleting photos from my phone in order to free up space.  But when I was done and tried to take another photo, the same message came up.  Frustrated, I did what I usually do when I can’t figure out what is wrong with my phone:  I handed it to my son with the request that he identify, and fix, the problem immediately.  It took him less than a minute to realize that the problem wasn’t that I was storing too many pictures on my phone, the problem was that I was storing tons of music on it.  Which would have made so much more sense if I had actually ever downloaded music on my phone, but I haven’t.  At least not intentionally.

It turns out that whenever I plug my phone into my computer in order to transfer the photos to the computer, the computer is reciprocating by generously transferring all of the music it has stored on the I-tunes app onto my phone.  Who knew?  My son deleted the music, and my phone decided that it would, once again, allow me to take pictures.  And I was appropriately grateful until the next time I tried to load photos from my phone to my computer, and guess what?  That sneaky little computer tried to load it right back up with music.  I’m pretty sure I stopped it before too many songs crossed over, but I’m not certain.  Nor have I found the “delete” button that my son used to rid my phone of unwanted songs.

I know that I am far from the brightest bulb on the string, but the fact remains that the more technology advances, the dumber I feel.  It’s embarrassing to have to constantly ask my son what is wrong with my phone, or my computer, or my I-pad.  Especially when he tells me that he usually finds the answer to my question simply by Googling it, which is his way of implying that I ought to be able to figure these things out by myself.  And the sad truth is, I usually do try to figure things out by myself, and only turn to him when I find myself too frustrated and angry to think straight.

I know that technology has brought about wonderful advances in the fields of science, medicine and communication.  But I still wish that the formerly simple process of taking and storing photos hadn’t become so incredibly complicated.  Yes, it’s called a “smart phone.”  But does that really mean it needs to be so intent on making me feel stupid?

85 thoughts on “Reality Bytes

  1. Ouch. I know exactly how you’re feeling! And ‘googling’ the answer means we’re just going further into technology to find out how/why technology is messing us up! I feel your pain and agree with you. The fact that we can now easily store our photos on our phones and computers is convenient, but it certainly isn’t simple. ;-0

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel the same way about Googling a tech question: it seems to be just going deeper into the quagmire. And I do love being able to take a picture with my phone and even storing it there, I just wish my phone did a better job of explaining the process involved. Thanks so much for your comment! It helps to know I’m not the only one who struggles….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. But you don’t understand, what you really want is for your music to be synced from your computer to your phone. You may disagree… but that only means that you do not understand yourself as well as Apple does.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard this complaint before with Apple products and iCloud, but not being a user myself then I can’t offer a workaround, Ann — doubtless someone here will. But anyway, I do object to these instances of unrequested sorting of our data, and Windows 10 does that too, with photos, and suddenly I find it’s creating libraries within its bundled media app that I just don’t need — I have my own file for photos, so everything is getting duplicated even when I upload the images to my own file initially. I think they regard it as ‘intelligent assistance’ and it’s nothing but a damn nuisance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a nuisance! When we need assistance, we’ll ask for it, and until then I would prefer it if our technology assumed we actually know what we’re doing. I also hate the way my I-phone constantly “suggests” emojis when I text, as if I need cartoon illustrations to make my point. And don’t even get me started on the way auto-correct mangles my messages! It’s a crazy world we live in, isn’t it?

      Like

  4. Technology can be frustrating. Apple is particularly dictatorial in many of it’s processes and features. Holly experiences similar and frequent frustrations and fortunately I’m adept enough with most tech syuff to figure things out mostly because I’m persistent (stubborn).

    There should be a setting iTunes that lets you select what you want to sync with your computer and phone and when to sync I.e., when connected to wi-if or when plugged into your computer. You can even say which songs or albums or genres to sync in case you want some music available but not all…

    But as you suggest, things definitely were more simple with a Brownie, am radio, and phone booths. Hang in there and don’t let technology get you down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the advice! My son told me that the computer uses I-Tunes to load the photos from my phone (which, when you think about it, is just another example of the strange complexity of modern technology: why do I have to load photos via a music app?), but he seemed surprised that it had loaded music on my phone without my knowledge. Honestly, I think he believed I did do it, just didn’t realize it at the time. So it’s good to know that this is a problem that can probably be fixed by adjusting the setting. I’ll look into it right away! (And if I can’t change the setting, I’m betting my son can!)
      And your wife is lucky to have someone who is “persistent” to help her out. My son simply has a pushy mother!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I print mine as well, and stick them in good old fashioned photo albums! I still think it is the safest way. I don’t know that I remember DOS well, but I do remember early computers and I agree that in many ways they are getting more user friendly. I just wish they wouldn’t “anticipate” my needs and do things I don’t want without my knowledge. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to be really good at understanding tehnology* – until just a few years ago and then my understanding started to slide. I don’t have a mobile (cell) phone as I can’t understand how to use it! Or rather, I did have one but when it died I decided not to revive or replace it as I never got to grips with it when it was working. My husband recently got a new phone and then learned that to put pics from it onto the pc, he needs a connection we might have but haven’t figured out how to use! So he simply hasn’t taken any pics with it.

    That said, I do Google things, because I hate not knowing things. even if I don’t entirely understand the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the most frustrating part of technology, I think. Once we mastered something new, it immediately becomes obsolete and then we need to learn something entirely different. If we aren’t careful, we are spending way too much time on it. I think one of the reasons young people tend to be so proficient at technology is the sheer amount of time they spend on their phones and computers!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. *The asterisk was meant for a PS but I hit ‘Post comment’ too quickly. The asterisk was to say that I also used to be able to touch-type, but I can’t do it on this tablet!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It does seem that you should be able to decide what – and what doesn’t – automatically sync. Your story reminds me of a time not long ago when I was trying to load a few books on to my (ancient, in the computer world) iPad. It kept saying that I didn’t have enough room so I started too offload pictures, apps, and anything else I could think of. I finally realized that two movies that I had rented, downloaded, and watched over a year ago (and should have disappeared after I viewed them) were still on my iPad. After I deleted them, I had a ton of space. Unfortunately, we don’t have kids or grandkids to help us through these tech issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is very frustrating, and I sympathize with your story! One of my other readers said there is a way to tell I-Tunes not to automatically sync, so I did that. And it worked. But at the moment, it is also not letting me load my photos to the computer. I think I need to update I-Tunes on my phone, but I’m going to let my son do that one. He’ll roll his eyes, but hey, we put him through college…..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to ask my son to help me all the time also. he would roll his eyes at me and then do what I asked of him. I reminded him of all the times I drove him to a friends house or took him to the mall before he could drive. that usually cured anymore eye rolling. Now, i figure things out for myself or go next door and ask the young adults there. Nice post Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure it’s all the little things like that make you miss your son even more! And I’m glad you have young adults next door who are willing to help when you need it. Take care…

      Like

  9. It is always a good idea to go for help on computer, iPhone, iPad matters to the younger generation. I grew up with computers (at age 40), but still technology advances at such a frightening pace that it is often hard to keep up. The pattern in our family goes like this. My wife asks me for help and I can solve her problems most of the time. And when I have a problem, I consult with our youngest son, who solves the problems 99% of the time. It is good like in your case that there is someone in the family who can help.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all, that’s a great photo😊
    Secondly, as I almost always do, I smiled as I read through your post. You have a way of turning frustrating situations into humorous stories. I don’t know if you consciously intend to but that’s how I read them. Maybe it’s just me..:)
    I understand the frustration with transferring. As I recall, there is a way you can manage what gets transferred from iTunes manually but I haven’t done it in a while, though your son might know…:)
    You’re right, sometimes the brilliance of technology makes us all feel pretty dumb..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, George! That was a photo I took on an earlier trip, when my phone was in a better mood and allowed me to take a few pictures. And yes, you are actually picking up my intention. Life is so often frustrating, but I’ve figured out it’s better to laugh at the absurdity of it rather than rage at the incompetence (usually mine, sometimes others). Honestly, it’s sort of how I cope!
      That being said, I would still be a much happier camper if the people who worked on our technological advances would bear in mind that the people who are actually going to using them would much prefer if they kept it simple.
      PS: Someone else mentioned that I can stop those automatic “syncs” which transfer data too. I think I did that, but of course, now my computer is refusing to accept the new photos from my phone. My son tells me that’s because I need to upgrade it. So the saga continues….I’ll keep you posted!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. At least you have someone to ask – we don’t have any kids. Guess who the go to guy is in our house? (But I can’t help anyone with Apple’s “helpfulness” – I’ve always been a Windows/Android guy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • My son does come in handy, because he doubled majored in Accounting and Information Technology (or something like that), and my daughter also knows a lot more than I do. I think I would be lost without them, although I have heard of other people who use whatever young person they do happen to know. Still, my son is also the one who told me to get a Mac and an I-Phone, so maybe our money on tuition wasn’t as well-spent as I thought it was! Good for you for being the “go-to” guy in your household. We would be in serious trouble if I were that person.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ha! This makes me feel sooo much better. Right now, this comment is likely on it’s way to your Spam folder, where it will sit in lonely silence until you check that tiny little button on the comment section of your WordPress dashboard. I have no idea why this keeps happening to me, aside from the fact that my WordPress Reader routine has become fairly consuming if I happen to miss a day or two. But still, do you remember the days when we just had to look for the big red “easy button.”

    I’m sure millenials today have no problem navigating the tortutous paths of technology (and yikes -social media), after all communication happens in their language. Romanian or Spanish, sure (if we speak slowly). French, probably. Maybe even Italian. But “tech”- that’s a language I don’t know if I’ll ever master.

    Fortunately, you have access to insider information through your son. Sure, he may roll his eyes, and act exasperated, but in the end. He’s gotta understand it’s part of the job description.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were right, this comment was in spam until I posted bail and got it out of there! I think whenever I dare to criticize technology in one of my posts, it finds a way to get back at me. In this case, it stuck a comment from a valued reader in spam, hoping I would forget to check in there occasionally. I know the same thing happens on Facebook. Technology is not only confusing to anyone over the age of 30, it is also very thin-skinned and prone to revenge.
      As for my son, you are so right! He would gladly give up his role of my personal tech advisor, but I figure he owes me. I was the one who taught him to use the toilet, feed himself, etc., so he can darn well try to teach me a thing or two about technology. Even if I am a much slower learner…..

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m laughing here Ann because honestly, that could have been me you wrote about. The same thing’s happened to me and yes, just like you, I handed my phone over to my tech savvy son who fixed it in less than a minute, finding almost the exact same problem though mine was more about Spotify music downloaded. Oh yeah, it’s frustrating alright. Thanks for a totally relatable post. Oh, and beautiful sunset. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well that happens to be best of us haha
    Sad that you had to focus on something but that beautiful sunset thought.
    I always try to make room for photos when I’m going travelling or so, and lately I got a separate camera just for that haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Listen very carefully. And don’t let your computer know that you have heard this. I am trying real hard to keep it on the q.t. with my computer. When you plugged your phone into your computer, they had a conversation that went like this.
    Phone: What are we going to do to frustrate her this time?
    Puter: Why don’t I download some music into your hard drive?
    Phone: That should do it.
    Puter: Make sure the son isn’t around when you start acting up.
    Phone: Okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I so know the feeling. I still have a flip phone. I can use my husband’s smart phone–barely–but the thought of handling my email on it would be enough for me to quit social media entirely. I need a keyboard to type, even if it’s only blog comments.

    But I tell myself it’s just a skill, one that I lack the motivation to master. I have a lot of other things on my plate, and I can only work on so many new skills at once. Mastering a smart phone just hasn’t moved onto the short list.

    I admit to the sneaking hope that this isn’t just an articulate rationalization…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think it’s articulate; I think it is just plain common sense! I do have email on my smart phone, but I don’t access my blog on it, nor do I have Facebook on it. And I only use it to write an email when I absolutely have to, because like you, I much prefer to type on an actual keyboard.
      And I don’t care what anyone says, I’m not really convinced that any gadget that is as complicated to use as a “smart phone” is actually all that smart.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I get that dang message often! My boys have told me to delete text messages, as I’ve been down that road of deleting photos forever too. It’s always when there is just that shot you have a second to get – right!? Oh the whoas of technology! Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve deleted texts as well, and photos. And I am in complete agreement about technology: can’t live with it, and no longer can live without it either! Is it really so much to ask that we can just enjoy the benefits without experiencing the frustration and hardships???

      Liked by 1 person

  18. It sounds from what you say that you may be using iTunes. Since I’ve used Macs for years, I’ve had a lot of experience with this disaster of an application. It was once all so easy and intuitive, but then Apple decided to make a few tiny improvements using a scalpel, tweezers, a couple of sledgehammers and a wrecking ball. Now I can barely do anything with iTunes. It’s hard to express how much I hate this piece of junk, so I think I’ll just fall tactfully silent at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, according to my son, my Mac uses iTunes to transfer the photos (which makes no sense to me whatsoever.) And ever since I changed my Apple password, it won’t let me log back in, which apparently means that I can’t put any more photos on my computer. Like you, I could say so much more on the subject, but I think I’ll follow your lead and remain tactfully silent. Although I admit that at some point, that silence could be broken by the sound of a computer being hurled across the room!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I frequently charge my phone at work and always click the don’t allow photos. But maybe I should just not charge it anymore except in an actual plug. Thank you for giving me something else to worry about! Plus you almost missed your sunset.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about that! But there is a place to check that you don’t want it to “sync” with your phone, and that stops the photos from transferring. (I admit, it took my son to find it for me, but a few of my readers mentioned it as well, so it must be fairly easy to find from someone who is a bit smarter than me). And you are right, what made me the most angry was almost missing a sunset because I was messing with my phone!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. On thing I have learned in this age of technology, is that Google does not have ALL the answers. 🙂

    Recently, a process started running on my phone that drains my battery far too quickly. Off to Google I went. While there were lots of people complaining about the same issue, all of the answers were different, and none of them were relevant to my phone (most notably, I didn’t have any of the apps that were mentioned as causing the problem). So I spent a day this week painstakingly uninstalling one app at a time to see if I could get the process to stop. Through trial and error, I have figured out that it’s ANY app using location services that seems to trigger this pesky, battery killing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good t know! And it seems that so many apps want to know my location, which I usually don’t allow, but sometimes it’s necessary for the app to work. They do not make it easy!
      I also agree with what you say about Google. I was recently having a problem getting my photos to load from my phone to my computer, and I Googled the question. None of the solutions applied worked with my problem. I guess nothing is infallible, although we’re sort of becoming trained to believe that Google is. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  21. I know. I know. It was very rude of me to delete
    my site without informing my blogging friends before hand.
    My sincere apologies Ann.

    It was a spur of the moment thing.
    I had about 300 followers and only ever heard from
    about 30 of them whenever I posted anything.
    Why were the other 270 people following me?
    I just got fed up with WordPress.

    Anyway, I have now found a new site to post
    my crazy dark poetry on. And they don’t have followers. 😎
    If you would like to reply to my message, you can email
    me at ajppobrien@gmail.com

    Your blogging friend,

    Alan.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s